Liturgy Aesthethica

Liturgy Aesthethica
Leave it to Brooklyn, NY to produce a black metal band that refuse to play by the rules. While black metal is one of the more forgiving metal subgenres, when it comes to progression, Liturgy take their liberties to a new extreme. On their 2009 debut LP, Renihilation, they had the audacity to sneak in a harmonious chanting session amongst the searing barrages of scale-climbing riffs. Signing with an unlikely label like Thrill Jockey, the four-piece have taken the next step, delving further into their experimental tendencies. Aesthethica commences with the type of clatter you'd find buried in a Battles tune before "High Gold" erupts into a blizzard of bursting beats and frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix's bloodcurdling scream. Chanting then follows on "True Will," one of the album's blackest numbers, before they get started with the recurring salvos on "Returner," which resemble Hella's fragmented, mathematical skittering. The triumphant "Glory Bronze," on the other hand, has all the makings of an anthem in waiting, with its uplifting, rock-minded climb. Consistent Aesthethica isn't exactly, but even when the classical touch of synth-only instrumental "Helix Skull" interrupts the flow, Liturgy's perplexed, cacophonic framework keeps you hungry for more. Of course, the church-burning set might scoff at Liturgy's insistence to fall under the black metal umbrella, but it's just that type of thinking that can benefit most from Aesthethica's ingenuity. (Thrill Jockey)