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Locrian Will Crush & Torment Your Fragile Souls


Locrian are an avant-garde/drone/blackened/something band from Chicago who have really been catching my interest of late. Their last album, The Clearing and the Final Epoch, is an excellent offering of experimental bleakness, and their splits with Mammifer and Horseback are both really worth looking into as well. This summer, Locrian are set to release their next studio full length album, titled Return to Annihilation, via Relapse Records, which I have been eagerly anticipating.

Early signs from the first two tracks premiered indicate that this is an utter masterpiece, a breath-taking work of droning, noxious, post-metal, blackened experimentalism. Now, the website is offering up a stream of the entire album for your listening pleasure. Upon my first listen, I certainly feel like this is a contender for album of the year. It is a nebulous rush of malevolence, formless in a sense; its only purpose is to coalesce into something that will unnerve and unsettle the listener.

Apparently the album is inspired by the prog rock days of Genesis, but there is seemingly little-to-no indication of that. Instead, the songs seem to mark the passage of eons, with dark synths, thudding ritualistic drumming, maddened screeches, and bleak incorporeal guitars. There are acoustic breaks in there as well, marking slow and moody passages among the nihilistic blasts and horror-scapes. The song “A Visitation From the Wrath of Heaven” in particular, is quite a journey, moving through tense and cloudy instrumentations before suddenly jerking headfirst into a wall of sound and fury. Locrian are certainly not the easiest band to become accustomed to, and they definitely don’t seek to make music for the masses, but if you can get your head around it and truly experience the maddening album as it is meant to be, then you will be in for a treat.

Listen to the stream here!

I don’t know if anyone else will have this problem, but the stream is a little glitchy for me. Hopefully it won’t affect your enjoyment of the release though.

What do you guys think? Are Locrian interesting to you? Is it all a bit much? Are you scared now? Sound off in the comments!

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