Sound — 8
Hunter Hunt-Hendrix is pretentious. Self-indulgent and pretentious. But once you get over his pseudo philosophies the discovery of his magical burst beat', Liturgy's Renihilation is a decent album. Produced by the marvellously talented Colin J Marston of Behold... the Arctopus and Dyshythmia fame, Renihilation is an ethereal black metal wave of tone swells and hammering percussion. The introductory track features otherworldly chant which builds up in intensity until Pagan Dawn' kicks in with a wall of sound. Trebly guitars combine until there is no discernable form but a smudge of dreamy tones. Notable is the drumming by Greg Fox, which is essentially blast-beat after blast-beat and fill after fill which works surprisingly well. We call them blast beats Mr Hendrix, not burst beats'. In any case if that term was recognised, I might as well call tremolo-picking furious rapid butterfly picking.' Gripes aside, Fox's drumming is competent. Little interludes in the album provide interesting trancelike moments, breaking up the unbelievably intense songs. Renihilation is one of those albums which features an interesting musical premise but almost overdoes it throughout its duration. The songs may become a bit samey, but it seems like the band actually wants the album to be experienced as a compositional whole.
Lyrics — 8
Admittedly, access to Liturgy's lyrics is limited but one can imagine that vocalist/guitarist HHH will be speaking about transcending the void of modernity through the self-destruction of consumerist vision and empirical soul'. Whatever it is, HHH is shrieking it out of his lungs. Liturgy brings nothing new to the table in terms of vocals but the piercing shrieks of HHH help emphasise the violence and ecstasy of the music.
Overall Impression — 9
Dreamy and crushing all at once, Renhiliation is a fascinating and fresh look at black metal. And despite being headache inducing and repetitive at times, it can be also inspirational and breath-taking- if you let it be. A solid effort from a promising new band.