Over the past few months Locrian have quietly released two of 2010’s best albums. They’re not a quiet band, but the project of André Foisy and Terence Hannum — which expands and contracts depending on the situation, degree of black noise/drone/metal/electronics — flies beneath too many radars. When I wrote about the game-changing Territories this past spring I mentioned “[Locrian] still create plenty of dark, crumbling, murky washes and spacious Prurient-on-Loren Mazzacane Connors noisescapes” but that “they’ve added a rock layer to the bleak ambiance” of 2009’s Drenched Lands (and a handful of shorter releases) via the assistance of Nachtmystium’s Black Judd, Yakuza’s Bruce Lamont, Velnias‘s Andrew Scherer, Bloodyminded’s Mark Solotroff, etc. On their second ’10 album, the excellent JG Ballard-referencing The Crystal World, they bring on Steven Hess (On, Pan American, Ural Umbo) for his drums and additional electronics, but otherwise keep the studio door shut. The results are a more spacious, at times abstract, patient feel than Territories, without losing the precursor’s intensity or momentum. This graveside Raymond Salvatore Harmon directed 3-D video for eerie drone anthem “At Night’s End” captures that feel (and Ballard’s forest). Some background:
This film is meant to be viewed with red/blue (anaglyph) 3D cinema glasses. It was filmed in a 13th century cemetery in Wroclaw Poland during the total airspace closure caused by the eruption of the Icelandic volcano.
The Ballard they’ve excerpted:
A marked change had come over the forest, as if dusk had begun to fall. Everywhere the glacé sheaths which enveloped the trees and vegetation had become duller and more opaque. The crystal floor underfoot was occluded and gray, turning the needles into spurs of basalt. The brilliant panoply of colored light had gone, and a dim amber glow moved across the trees, shadowing the sequined floor. At the same time it had become considerably colder.
The Crystal World is out 11/27 via Utech. It’s being released as an LP and a double CD. The CD’s second disc contains the almost hour-long “‘Extinction.” (The LP’s out in 2011.) Take a listen “Elevations And Depths,” the anguished acoustic/violin-woven gem that ends Disc 1.
Justin Bartlett’s cover art: