LITURGY
Black Metal • United States

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Liturgy is an american post black metal band from New York city, New York. They were formed in 2005. The members are Tyler Dusenbury - Bass, Greg Fox - Drums, Bernard Gann - Guitars and Hunter Hunt-Hendrix - Guitars and Vocals.
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LITURGY Discography

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.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Renihilation
Black Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 1.96 | 8 ratings
Aesthethica
Black Metal 2011

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LITURGY Reviews

LITURGY Aesthethica

Album · 2011 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Aesthethica" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US black metal act Liturgy. The album was released through Thrill Jockey Records in May 2011. The band are quite unusual looking for a black metal act, posing in their regular clothes, looking like everyday college kids, but "Aesthethica" proves that you don´t have to look like a Norwegian troll smeared with corpsepaint or a zealot looking eastern European pagan persona, to play some furious sounding black metal.

With the image talk out of the way, let´s talk about the music. The music on "Aesthethica" is a chaotic yet atmospheric sounding type of black metal, featuring a raw yet professional and powerful sound production. The vocals are high pitched raspy screaming and usual black metal traits like blast beating and tremolo picking are also part of the band´s sound. Another US black metal act in Krallice occasionally comes to mind because of the excessive tremolo guitar dualling, but Liturgy generally have a lighter sound than Krallice. The "lighter" sound also results in the music having a more accessible quality than most other chaotic/atmospheric sounding black metal acts on the scene. This is of course not easy listening in any way, but there are hooks in the music which makes it more memorable than the music of most of their peers. Liturgy also venture into other musical territories though and it´s great for the variation of the album when a track like "Generation" takes us into instrumental mathcore territory or a track like "Veins of God" takes us into sludge metal ditto. "Aesthethica" actually prove to be quite the unpredictable size and I´m kept on my toes for the duration of the 65:56 minutes long album. The band make a few misteps with the shorter guitar noodling track "Helix Skull" and the a capella choir track "Glass Earth", but otherwise I´d say the album is of a pretty high quality throughout.

The musicianship is impeccable. Liturgy are technically a really well playing act.

"Aesthethica" is probably the kind of black metal album that will divide fans of the genre. Not as such because of the music featured on the album, but more because of Liturgy´s image, which reeks of anything but black metal integrity. But conventions are meant to be broken right? Well at least I don´t have a problem with these guys looking like "regular" folks, if that´s what suit them. Their music doesn´t suffer one bit from it and "Aesthethica" deserves a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating.

LITURGY Aesthethica

Album · 2011 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Phonebook Eater
6/10

"Aesthethica" is a huge, pondering, and intellectual Black Metal album.

Liturgy are an American Black Metal band, and “Aesthethica” would now be their sophomore LP, which got a little more attention than the debut, “Renihilation”. From their music there’s been some talk about something called “Transcendental Black Metal”, but the term is very generic and vague. Nevertheless, the music I hear is repetitive, hypnotic, yet also quite lively, and it does give some justice to this obscure subgenre. But I believe the results for this album are not quite as good as they should be.

It’s been called also “Hipster Black Metal” because of it’s appeal to the indie/alternative crowd more than the Black Metal one. Despite this ridiculous tag, it is true that Black Metal fans have avoided this, because of it’s popularity among a different crowd. A good and simple way to describe the music on this album is that it is a mix between the regular attributes of BM mixed with the stop and goes and time changes of Math Rock. The rhythms are hammering and extremely fast, like usually Black Metal is, but then it is more alert and less atmospheric than usual, because of it’s time changes, where the Math kicks in. The vocals as always are shrieking, but there are odd moments in some tracks where there are some sort of monotonous chants that literally sing one note over and over again. The musicianship though is really good, from the vocals to the drums, which are able to play syncopated rhythms and change immediately and abruptly time signatures like it was the easiest thing in the world.

“Aesthethica” is a huge, pondering and intellectual album, a reason why some thoughtless people have snubbed it. In here music is repetition, it is hypnotizing people, it is putting the listener into a big huge ball of confusion. But this ball is so pre-schemed and thought, that you don’t always feel the roller coaster effect, as if the music was more spontaneous, I might have enjoyed it more. When there is too much effort in making a piece of music, you can sense that.

However the good moments are many: “Generation”, despite it’s repetition, is a hypnotic piece that shows how synchronized and how well the band is able to play together as a group. Some melodies are noticeable amidst the confusion, especially in “Returner”, the epic sounding opener of the album “High Gold”, or “Tragic Laurel”. Many songs in this album go from decent to really good, but to me there are no amazing moments that blow me away. This however makes it a more solid and consisting album for me, despite being not more than decent.

“Aesthethica” is wrongfully judged by metal fans, and frankly I’m surprised to see it snubbed. It would be a great listen for whoever loves Black Metal and Math Rock.

LITURGY Aesthethica

Album · 2011 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Aesthethica is the second full-length album from US black metal act Liturgy, which was released in 2011. The band consider their style as Transcendental Black Metal, but just to burst their bubble a bit here, that’s just another case of a band trying to give their music a fancy tag just to appear different. Actually, although this is some black metal qualities to this, it doesn’t really fit the mould either, and not in a good way.

Whatever you think about the way Liturgy looks, or about their ideology, surely any self-respecting metalhead knows that it’s the music that comes first. So I’m going to base this review on that, the outcome of the music alone. And no mention of the fact that this is considered ‘hipster’ black metal, except that one, of course.

So, the music. Where to begin? The album starts off with pure weirdness with High Gold, which gradually builds and builds until the point that it is just completely annoying, and then the band finally kicks off into a more metal sound. The music is fast, has something of a high pitched quality to it, and the vocals are completely incomprehensible, and the sound is extremely repetitive but I gather from what I’ve read of Liturgy that this was exactly the intention. If that sounds appealing to you then you can stop reading now, because I can guarantee that you are not going to appreciate the rest that I am going to have to say with this review.

2011 has in general been a mighty fine year for metal music. Only a few albums that have come my way have been, shall we say, less than subpar, and only one that I’d consider to be really bad. There was never anything that could be considered dismal though. Until now that is. This may just be the single-most worst album I have ever heard. I’m all for fast black metal made with the intent to create an atmosphere, but the atmosphere just isn’t here in this release. It’s completely monotonous and with the instruments almost completely drowning out the vocals, I don’t have a single clue just what the songs are even meant to be about. What makes matters even worse is that for the most part Liturgy have made their songs at least five minutes long, with several of them over or approaching seven minutes. If there was some variation then it might work, but the fact that there either isn’t, or very little if there is, makes this release a complete drag. It’s a long album too; I’d had enough of this by the fifth track but I forced myself to sit through it just to write this review. This album is only useful for the practice of ear torture, and it threatens to leave me in a vegetable state upon its conclusion.

I really wish I could find something positive to say about this album, but this one has been so painful to even get through to give it a fair go that I find absolutely nothing to praise. I guess you could give these guys a pat on the back for being able to play fast, but what is speed when there is no soul to the music? What use is the vocalist’s tortured growl when all it does is add additional noise to any already noisy output? And seriously, what is the deal with the funny noises like the start of High Gold and the entirety of Glass Earth? They add a little variation which is much needed, but that’s the only remotely positive thing that can be said of such parts, and then it’s through clenched teeth. The more I get into the album, the more I feel like this is the worst album I ever heard. Come back Amaranthe and Doctrine (aka my other really low rated 2011 albums as of this review, if you don’t get the reference), all is forgiven!

I normally try not to write a review in such a rant-like way, but I feel rather comatose after this one, and I’m going to need some serious therapy in order to get over this train wreck of an album. And I also normally wouldn’t even dream of giving a release as low a score as this, as there are usually a few redeeming qualities to note in an artist’s music even if you really don’t like the album, but Liturgy’s Aesthethica proves to be the exception to the rule. The only thing I’ve given it points for is that they showcase some different sounds and ideas in each track, but because they fail to really vary each track it just becomes completely boring. Really there is probably enough material in this over an hour release for one decent song but that’s about it, really, and even then it would have to be instrumental. Also take the vocals out and the release even loses what little it had of a black metal vibe. My recommendation? Avoid it like the plague.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scored at 0.5/10)

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