Reviews Locrian The Clearing


The Clearing

OK, so I finally get to sit down with album number four (or three depending on who you ask) from Locrian and not because I did not want to listen to this sucker; but rather I waited and waited to hear this spin on my turntable first until at last I gave in and listened to the advance copy that Fan Death (the record label putting the physical version out) sent all the addicts due to the delays in the vinyl manufacturing process. Building up expectations is generally a terrible idea when it comes to almost anything, but can kill musical projects before they even get their due and proper; The Clearing almost fell to that inglorious end after the first several times that I popped the “record” on to listen, and it was only after giving the record a break and getting in the right frame of mind that this Locrian record finally clicked in my thick skull.

The Clearing is not the immediately mind blowing experience that Crystal World is (hence my personal stumbling block) but rather a more refined and slightly more subtle sonic excursion that takes their penchant for layering of sound textures to other climes altogether, and maybe because it is a much more improvised work than its predecessor, The Clearing feels like a more pure interpretation of the three conspirators of Locrian vision at the time of its recording; and the album feels more personal the more that I spend time with it, or rather I connect to the four pieces here in weird ways, possibly as a result of this improvised methodology. In any case, there are times where the tension here is so thick, almost as if the Locrian is straining to hold back the feverish need to let completely go of themselves (“Chalk Point” sounds as though it could explode at any minute out of the ominous piano part but instead a slow burn evolves that keeps the built up tension at a high level the whole time, that listening causes my anxiety level to jack through the roof; at other times, The Clearing does unleash brutish waves of sonic violence (“The Augury In An Evaporating Tower” eventually gives way to a massive aural pummeling that might just be the most intense minute and a half of music this year). The acoustic guitars of “Coprolite” adds a completely new dimension to the noise-y undertones and distant electric guitar drones that populate the aural landscape which it paints, but it is the b-side of the album that Locrian pulls out the stalking menace (the rebounding percussive beat comes across as a new interpretation of the Jaws theme complete with the sense of uncertainty and dread) to terrorize us listeners even further

Locrian somehow expand on their already forward looking take on music, but, if you do not give it your full attention, you will probably miss the real meat of what The Clearing has in store for the people with a modicum of patience; trust me (because it almost happened to me), the album has a great deal in store for those that dive down deep into these tremendous atmospheres. In all ways, The Clearing is a triumph of subtlety that seems like a scavenger hunt of sound, consistently rewarding the seekers and delvers of its sonic depths.

8.5 / 10Bob
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8.5 / 10

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