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Liturgy, "Immortal Life"

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This is definitely an odd little release, because it manages to not only be heavily laced with the standard black metal clichés (beyond lo-fi production values, metronomic drum machine, and indecipherable Cookie Monster vocals), but creates something different in the sum of its parts:  the parts are all there, but the sound is just somewhere out in left field, in a good way.

 

Infinite Limbs

It is obvious one of the big differences is the presentation:  rather than an indecipherable blood splattered logo there is an ethereal sky on the front of the LP and simple block lettering, and both the album and track titles lead to spiritual underpinnings, yet having two tracks named after Everquest might mean something different.  It is interesting to note that the sound and production qualities are pure "kvlt" by black metal standards:  the sound would be much more at home on a hand dubbed tape with the title written in Sharpie, not in a full color sleeve and pressed on virgin clear vinyl.

The sound doesn't vary across the six tracks presented here, and in my first listen, it was almost impossible to tell where one began and another ended.  The formula is simple:  high pitched rapid guitar noodling over extremely distorted rhythm guitar work, and a simple drum machine beat that alternates from the factory "very fast" and "very fucking fast" tempo settings, with occasional outbursts of growled vocals.  Or guttural noises, it’s all pretty much the same.

The lead guitar elements, not being completely immersed in production and staying more near the mid register of the scale is what gives this EP a distinctive sound, which feels less dark and bleak than most in the genre.  Buried amongst the muck are some unique moments though, the slower paced rhythm guitar on "No More Sorry" stands own on its own early on, revealing an almost shoegaze like fuzzed out quality.  This record doesn’t break any new ground, but it's a unique take on a genre that can easily become stagnant and boring otherwise.

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 March 2009 12:21  


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