25 January, 2014

Locrian: A Visitation From The Wrath Of Heaven – new video & Return To Annihilation – full album stream

Personally, I fully support LOCRIAN's (whose natural hyperactive creativity continues into 2014) ambitious goal to make a video for each and every tune they’ve ever recorded. ‘A Visitation From The Wrath Of Heaven’ is the fourth video the band has released in promotion (or support) of their latest (that I know of) recording ‘Return To Annihilation’, issued in June 2013 on Relapse Records. Directed by J.P Bradburn, ‘A Visitation From The Wrath Of Heaven’ is a worthy successor to Rosamaria Montalbano-directed video ‘Two Moons’, ‘Panorama Of Mirrors’ video visualised by the group's own Terence Hannum and ‘Exiting The Hall Of Vapor And Light’, directed by George Moore. Once again, ‘Return To Annihilation’ is a truly rewarding listen, so listen and then order the album described as “excellent” and “risky” by Pitchfork and as “a corona of dream-pop and visceral shoegaze” by Stereogum and available as CD, double LP, and in digital formats here (Relapse Records' store), via BandCamp here or from iTunes, etc. ‘Return To Annihilation’ was recorded by Greg Norman at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago, Illinois, and mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Service:
“… LOCRIAN's “noctambulist”, their sleepwalker, does not rely on the chosen-one mythos for its character details. His story is the endlessly repeating cycle of the pacifying dream and horrific reality of disaster, inescapable, crushing, and yet somehow glorious. This play of image and reality provides a subtle reading of the cultural fascination with catastrophe and the nearing certainty that we may face one. Until then, the apocalypses will continue unabated, the shifting between New World Orders and hopes to be met or violated will repeat, relentlessly, until it’s all over or a new age dawns,” [wrote, inspired, Mathew Philips, Tiny Mix Tapes – more here:]

Perhaps named so after “an exotic musical scale once banned by the Catholic church for being evil”, or perhaps indentified with “an obscure tribe of ancient Greeks” (as suggested by Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic - more here), sonic experiment known as LOCRIAN was founded in 2005 in Chicago, Illinois by multi-talented André Foisy and Terence Hannum. LOCRIAN have to date released over 20 recordings (“almost song by song, at times”) on countless labels. Their first full-length album was issued on Small Doses Records in 2009; ‘Drenched Lands’ astonished Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic who wrote: “Even by post-metal standards, the pair just don’t line up - on paper - yet they ultimately make sense in the decontextualized “anything goes” mentality displayed throughout ‘Drenched Lands’ (more here)”:

Its follower, 2010's ‘Territories’, featured percussionist Andrew Scherer as well as guest musicians Mark Solotroff on synthesizer, saxophonist Bruce Lamont (of YAKUZA fame), and guitarist and vocalist Blake Judd (of NACHTMYSTIUM). Upon listening, Mr. Rivadavia exclamed: “There’s never a dull moment here, that’s for sure!” (Read the rest of his review here:)

Ever a “prophetic voices of decline”, LOCRIAN released another album later that same year. ‘The Crystal World’, recorded with renowned experimental musician and the group's new drummer Steven Hess, featured guest vocalist Erica Burgner-Hannum and guest violinist Gretchen Koehler. Titled after J.G. Ballard's 1966 novel that tells the story of a physician who specializes in leprosy sent to a remote African outpost to discover a jungle that is slowly crystallizing and encroaching upon everything it touches, the band fittingly described ‘The Crystal World’ as “an epic journey”:

‘The Clearing / The Final Epoch’ double CD was issued on Relapse Records in 2012; ‘The Clearing’, released the previous year through Fan Death on vinyl only became finally available in CD form, accompanied by a second CD consisting of rare and unreleased LOCRIAN material. The effort, praised by critics, was recorded and mixed at Semaphore Recording by Jeremy Lemos, and mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Service:

In 2012, LOCRIAN's joint effort with post-rock atmospheric astronauts MAMIFFER, - comprised of ISIS' main man Aaron Turner and pianist Faith Coloccia – produced ‘Bless Them That Curse You’ album which was issued through Profound Lore Records:
“Heck, at its core, and for all its schizophrenic variety, LOCRIAN & MAMIFFER's collaboration could be said to muster an unsettling new age for the dark age, and it’s ultimately that passion for contrasting sounds and viewpoints that makes this collaboration so powerful and seductive,” [commented Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here:]

LOCRIAN features: André Foisy - guitar, bass and percussions, Terence Hannum -  vocals, synthesizers, organs, tapes and guitar and Steven Hess – percussions   


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