Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Liturgy : " The Ark Work"

Despite Hunter's best efforts I've remained a fan through all the hipster pre-tense Little Lord Hendrix has draped the project in. Even after the clean vocals and Bone Thugs being cited as an influence I have been waiting for this one. It opens with literal fan fare, not an actual song just an intro, that's horns. The first actual song splits the difference between the Sun Ra jazz and the black metal of old. If a real drummer is playing this and not a drum machine then it's impressive as hell. According to the credits it's Ben Fox who played on the last album. The second song sounds like and extension of the first with these glitches thrown in, which sound intentional, it could be the copy I downloaded is just pirate as hell. Tone wise the a guitar carries a similar ringing sound, maybe even less distorted . The rap elements come in on this song as well. But is sound more like chants since bass is thumping. Hunter isn't trying to really spit verses, it sounds like monotone ranting. This song grows more sonic and eventually wins me over.

"Follow II" is a much more twinkling piece of ambiance, almost bordering on the space riding tendencies of kraut rock . They explode into the song at the three minute mark. I can hear where the transcendental nature of the music lies as it is very soaring. This might have blast beats, but it's not black metal. I'm o.k with that, if you are not well they are like Rush in the fact they are not every ones bag. The vocals on this one sound like Indian chants and even when they used harshly screamed vocals it was just a layer of white noise with a more human touch.

If you clicked on this review chances are you already clicked on the single for "Quetzalcoatl". The rap thing is more predominant here. Dramatic synths swell before what is a pretty decent sweep of black metal that flows into the song. "Father Vorizen" is more deliberately paced and carries a tad more stomp to it. There is a tremendous increase in atmosphere on this album, a few little interlude like songs that carry you from one piece to the next. Synths are also more present, mainly creating string sound. Synths are pretty common in black metal so you can't fault him for that. "Reign Array" blasts into a shimmering sunrise rather than taking you to the grim winter's dusk most black metal travels to. Hunter's best attempt to sing occurs on this song as well and Rob Halford has nothing to worry about. They use the ten minutes of this song to swell similar sonic themes explored earlier on the album into radiant tapestry.

They harmonize layers of vocals in a round on "Vitriol" before  bringing more of the pseudo rap back into the picture. His lyrics are more distinguishable than when he previously tried to cold kick it.The lyrics are like something from Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" filtered through Layzie Bone. The fuzzy electronic undercurrent  is allowed to drip in from the song's cracks creating the albums most un-metal. "Total War" is almost like a slower reprise of "Quetzalcoatl" , it does float into a dark cloud. The production on this song and a few others sounds almost muffled. I'm sure this is intentional, I know they are influenced by Lighting Bolt, but for what they are doing a crisper sound might have benefited this album. This does leave me a little torn in scoring the album so I'll go on an give it a 9.5 and see how it stands the test of time.

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