Reviews Locrian Return To Annihilation


Return To Annihilation

Holy mother of god I was clearly not ready for Return To Annihilation from Locrian, and I guarantee that “Eternal Return” will do the same to you; now, my reaction has more to do with the shockingly uplifting sound and mood that the song seems destined to pop on people as they press play for the first time than the quality of the music. Truthfully, that initial reaction colored and influenced how I listened to Return To Annihilation for weeks causing me to re-think just what Locrian was capable of pulling off with their music; there was a single question that was definitely on my mind from that first listen through the album straight through about ten hours with the record. Has Locrian gone post rock?

Just like many questions in life, the answer to such a question regarding Return To Annihilation is certainly not that straight forward; and what people may be used to hearing from Locrian certainly is present throughout this album with songs like “A Visitation From The Wrath Of Heaven” (though there is definitely a section where one might call me on this claim), and “Exiting The Hall Of Vapor And Light” being clear evidence that this three piece have not completely burned their boats before embarking on writing and recording this album, as these two are the most obvious reference points to their past work. Still, “Eternal Return” shows some massive stylistic change, particularly in the manner in which Locrian utilizes the keyboards as a much more melodic instrument; and “Two Moons” is almost as shocking in its straight forward-ness besides the beginning having an eerie similarity to “The Seven Sisters” from Rainer Maria (to illustrate just how close “Two Moons” comes to pop not comparing the bands or saying Locrian is headed that way by any stretch of the imagination).

The title track seems to best meld the band’s prog rock leanings with their noisily experimental ambience , but I might be more inclined to offer the closing “Obsolete Elegies” as a more appropriate example as to what Locrian is capable of doing (clearly the bulk of this expansive tracks is rooted in the sounds of their previous work) due in no small part to its tense build up into a black metal influenced climax that just blisters away any notions that these three musicians are going soft or in any way might be trying to be more accessible.

Ultimately, Return To Annihilation is a great album for Locrian as it shows these three people who are willing to push their music in all sorts of directions while having those compositions sound excellent and completely natural; while I would still point to my personal favorite Locrian album as being The Crystal World, the argument could be made (by some) where Return To Annihilation is every bit as vital and fresh as that watershed album.

8.5 / 10Bob
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8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

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