Sunday, April 12, 2015

Liturgy's new album "The Art Work" & US Tour with Lightning Bolt: Apr 15 - May 18

Many of us will remember the Lightning Bolt tours of the early and mid-2000's where their particular frenetic performative driving percussion and eruptive guitar were on manic display. Shows that not only spilled off the stage, invading the dancefloor, bathrooms, hallways and in the case of the No Gallery performance here in Seattle back in 2003 taking over a one block area of Capitol Hill until the police arrived. Throughout the 2000's they became something of an 'event' band operating on their own terms; made records when they wanted to and continued a almost situationist refusal to perform on any traditional stage or platform (with all the greatness and disasters that entailed). The inside perspective on their methodology and independently defined performance ethic offered by frontman Brian Chippendale's discussion with The Quietus, "Lightning Bolt Interview: Earthly Delights & The Quest For The Mask". This April and May they're back to tour with their most recent manifestation of hyperfrenetic mania, "Fantasy Empire" displaying the same human tornado frisson and impact, but with a more detailed, tooled  musicianship. It's less a fiery blur and more a detailed depiction of explosive aggression. The near-perfect bill of them and fellow Thrill Jockey artists led by Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, the frontman and “dogma director” of transcendental black metal band Liturgy who's vein of ultra-mathy brutalist rock that resembles little else in a genre than continues to expand beyond it's Black Metal origins. Liturgy occupying a far-flung branch of a growing international heavier school of blackness that Brad Sanders detailed in his piece for The Quietus. The article acting as an excellent opening unto the dark passageways of this genre's growing stylistic variances. Their music deeply invested in aesthetics and a philosophical, sensorial agenda, it's a rare form of metal that the Brooklyn-based band conveys through "Moral & Aesthetic Truths: An Interview With Liturgy". Their most recent, literally titled, "The Art Work" they've produced their most explicit representation of these ideas in action, making for a divisive work that has polarized the underground metal world. With it's dragging, rough and deeply ur-human guttural qualities the album is brought to life through vocal chants entrenched in stylistic references stemming from a myriad of genres. Combined with their straining, arduously orchestrated guitar work, the density of the textures and grandeur of it all verges on the exhausting. Live it should be oppressive in the best possible way.