17 dec. 2012

SFGATE : Liturgy finds the joy in black metal

"Play the "what movie would this band score" game and, on first listen to the metal-flecked, emotive cinematic soundscapes of Brooklyn's Liturgy, you're liable to pair the outfit with the broad strokes of a sword-and-sandal epic and a particularly brutal "Game of Thrones"-style fantasy.
But ask Liturgy leader Hunter Hunt-Hendrix if he could write the music for any given film, what movie would it be, and his answer surprises: "If we could have done the soundtrack to 'Days of Heaven,' " he responds by e-mail, "that would have been cool."
As tough as it is to picture Terrence Malick's austere 1978 panhandle passion play without its Ennio Morricone backdrop, the idea unsettles and intrigues - much as Liturgy's latest album, "Aesthethica," upsets and then rises above the black metal category that the group has been lumped into, while taking thrilling journeys into drone, noise, experimental and contemporary music.
As Liturgy makes its way from the metallic mbira-like shimmers that open "High Gold" and the shattered guitar pointillism and blast-beat drums of "True Will" to the euphoric pulsing riffs of "Generation" and stirring layered throat-singing effects of "Glass Earth," "Aesthethica" unfolds into something as bright and bold as joy. It's not a quality ordinarily associated with the darkest reaches of thrash, though it plays into  black metal preferred idea of "transcendental black metal."

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