Liturgy, 'Aesthethica' (Thrill Jockey)

8
Aesthethica
Critical Mass
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Label: Thrill Jockey

by Spencer Kornhaber

Per the Greek root word of their second album's title, these Brooklyn black-metal theorists value beauty -- heaving, obsidian, tonsil-ripping beauty. On the a cappella, coulda-been-Animal-Collective interlude "Glass Earth," they reveal their intention to hypnotize and transport via repetitive, shapeshifting lattices of sound. Then "Harmonia" ambushes with a very different palette: meth-jazz drumming, stutteringly sky-climbing fretwork, and the incomprehensible suck-shrieks of Hunter Hunt-Hendrix. Repurposing tired metal tropes for ecstatic sensory trips, these songs are steel-tipped pointillist portraits of vitality itself.

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