50 Unheralded Albums from 2011

Liturgy: AesthethicaLiturgyAesthethica (Thrill Jockey, 5/10/11)

Liturgy: “Returner”

[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/03-Returner.mp3|titles=Liturgy: “Returner”]

Since its debut full-length in 2009, Brooklyn-based quartet Liturgy has helped to steer black metal into a bold new direction. On Aesthethica, Liturgy comes armed once more with Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’s mostly indecipherable howl and quasi-anthemic guitar lines blasted with co-pilot Bernard Gann, both positioned over Greg Fox’s machine-gun drumming and Tyler Dusenbury’s frenetic bass lines.

Aesthethica, however, also can be taxing due to its unconventionality, notably on tracks such as on the seven-minute, one-riff “Generation,” a song that plays with rhythmic dynamics. But with its emphasis on unorthodox instrument application, it gradually becomes apparent that Liturgy, despite its upside-down-cross artwork and full-metal sound, really stands closer to Sonic Youth or The Boredoms than to Black Breath.

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