Thursday, March 4, 2010
Locrian - Territories (At War With False Noise / Basses Frequences / Bloodlust! / Small Doses, 2010)
Locrian - Procession Of Ancestral Brutalism
Where the fuck do you start with a record like this? I guess the first thing I should mention (in case you didn't notice) is that Territories is too much of a monolithic beast to be contained by individual labels or continents. It took FOUR labels to put this thing out. That right there should clue you in as to how fucking massive this record is.
Then there's the fact that this isn't just André & Terrence playing, like most Locrian releases. Nope, they've recruited, like, every awesome metal dude around. Mark Solotroff (of Bloodyminded) on vocals and synths, Blake Judd (of Nachtmystium) on guitar, Bruce Lamont (of Yakuza) on sax and vocals, and Andrew Scherer (of Velnias) on drums. DUDES. We get it. You're trying to make to most badass record ever. No need to go overboard (just kidding, always go overboard please).
What Locrian usually go for is black. You know, black metal, blackened ambience, black doom, black noise, all the black one record can handle. But combine their entire discography's blackness and you still can't muster even a half hearted fight against the epic black hole that's Territories.
This record is fucking incredible. It opens with a super textured lurching hunchback of a song, with piercing squelches of feedback over a gurgling swamp of vocals and noise. The next song chills out a bit with some not-too-scary low end drone played by a mourning sax and commiserating synths, accentuated by spurts of crashing cymbals. But the third song is where they fucking kick it into gear. All out black metal fury that totally fucking annihilates in the most gorgeous way possible. I don't think I've heard them delve this far into the BM yet, and it's so. fucking. good. It's not especially fucked or twisted that way I normally like my black metal, but it's not too straightforward either. They balance the blast beats and wall of buzz with droning static and plodding thunder in a way that makes me think "Why don't they always do this? It's unbelievable." But then I listen to the rest of the record and remember why.
Territories finishes with 3 more songs that really get into some true terror, blackened rumbling, traipsing thrumming, soaring static, and more of that torturous feedback. Clouds roll in and shit gets dark, heavy, and scary as fuck. Helicopters flying in launching tear gas rockets to stop the rioting masses, decrepit malfunctioning machines topple, rusted tetanus infections, doomsday alarms, the demise of our society. And it all culminates with a black metal march of triumph over the decay, proof that even in the Future American Dystopia, no matter how debased and degenerated we have become, it's still going to be fucking beautiful.