Locrian: Return to Annihilation

Locrian: Return to Annihilation

(Relapse, 6/25/13)

"A Visitation from the Wrath of Heaven"

Noise, drone, and black metal make excellent bedfellows. Locrian is the band to prove this idea, with its past releases combining the noisiest noises and the droniest drones to create metallic brutality that wouldn’t sound out of place as part of an art installation.

On Return to Annihilation, the band takes a cue from prog-rock influences (King Crimson, Yes, and Genesis, specifically) and breaks its extra-long tracks into multiple parts. The tension brewed up in tracks like “A Visitation from the Wrath of Heaven” is sensational — the track hypnotizes and soothes for six-and-a-half minutes before a windswept vocal scrape heralds the ultra-short, ultra-heavy climax.

Despite the record not sounding like any of those aforementioned bands, dynamics like this appear all over, making for fantastic drama and storytelling over the course of the album’s 50-minute span.