Release Date: Jul 24, 2015
Record label: Relapse Records
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Heavy Metal, Experimental Rock, Black Metal, Dark Ambient
Over ten years, Locrian have released a startling number of recordings. From their beginnings as an experimental industrial noise/drone duo (multi-instrumentalist André Foisy and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Terrence Hannum) to evolving into a trio with drummer Stephen Hess, their sonic palette has widened to include doom and black metal, post-rock and dark ambience. For a band thematically devoted to exploring decay, their sound has been, no matter how abstract, consistently expansive.
The more music Locrian create, the less sense the metallurgists seem to make: That is the implicit lesson of Infinite Dissolution, the most adventurous and accessible album the once-prohibitively esoteric band have ever made. During these nine tracks, they buoy black metal with kaleidoscopic guitar solos and punctuate cinematic three-piece suites with transfixing synthesizer serenades. Screamed anthems find and then finesse an unexpected threshold between post-metal and post-punk, while some of the band’s most grim vocals ever provide the friction against their most gorgeous and warm musical setting to date.
For ten years, the experimental, blackened drone outfit Locrian have revelled in being a difficult entity to find down. Equal parts flesh and fire, metal and smoke, the textures shift between states of solidity, eternally difficult to hold but always capable of deep wounding. Infinite Dissolution is their most cogent, cohesive record to date, but the sense-making is all conceptual; aurally speaking, it still boils and burns, slashes and soothes with virulent unpredictability.While 2013's Return to Annihilation was all about the erasure of the ego, an internal, intimate kind of destruction, Infinite Dissolution is on a much larger and more permanent scale: it's all about the extinction of humanity.
Upon discovering André Foisy’s double life as both a member of the experimental noise metal band Locrian and as a yoga instructor who encourages his students to find inner peace and tranquility through heavy metal, I was inspired to listen to his band’s new album, Infinite Dissolution, through a unique process: meditation. A nontraditional research method, certainly, but considering 2013’s Return to Annihilation, it seemed fitting for an immense and textured album worthy of heavy contemplation. Looking into the photo of sculptor David Altmejd’s The Eye on Infinite Dissolution’s cover is like peering into the world of the album: as mesmerizing as it is disorientating.
Infinite Dissolution is Locrian’s first album in two years. For any other active band, that’s expedient. For this outfit of self-described “experimental, avant-black metal artisans”, that’s quite a lull. After forming in 2005, the Chicago collective hit the ground running by churning out seven albums between 2009 and 2012.
Review Summary: There may not be a market for post-metal in 2015, but if there is, Locrian is the prize pig.Like the glistening, calculated geometry that graces the cover of Infinite Disolution, Locrian have morphed into the most sleek and manufactured version of themselves. For better or worse, the band has seemingly lost their “edge.”But maybe that’s okay. In 2015, post-metal has become something passe; a sound that feels better as a supporting act in the background rather than a star.
Locrian — Infinite Dissolution (Relapse)Infinite Dissolution might be construed as a sonic essay exploring the Holocene extinction event, already under way and ongoing by so many accounts. Tonally and thematically, the band shepherds the listener through stages of civilization’s decay, if not the end of biological life as a whole. Naming songs “Arc of Extinction” (the album’s stadium rock kickoff), “The Future of Death,” “The Great Dying” and “An Index of Air” makes a statement, whether one expounds upon their meaning in subsequent discussion or not.
Before hearing a single second of Infinite Dissolution, Locrian's incoming full-length and their second proper for Relapse, the record's striking cover art hints at the aesthetic permutations of a band that is no stranger to rigorous experimentation. The repurposed image of David Altmejd's 2008 work 'The Eye' renders the sculpture colossal, unnerving – an architecture of myriad surfaces and impossible angles that is both imposing and unnervingly alien. For a group who have, even during their most ecstatic moments, so intently peered into the subterranean void (visually evinced in the queasy landscapes of past releases like The Crystal World and Territories), it's a sign that their gaze has shifted skywards, to an emphatically more celestial one.