Liturgy - Aesthetica (Thrill Jockey)

Large amounts of mediocre terror fall way short of the mark.

Released May 16th, 2011 via Thrill Jockey / By Alex Yau
Liturgy - Aesthetica (Thrill Jockey) Judging by their previous releases and their latest album cover, one upright cross and another upside down, Liturgy aren’t the type you’d see in your regular Sunday Church service. Instead they’d probably feel more at home in the pits of hell, overturning everything pure about the world in a blitzkrieg of apocalypse. In this, their third effort, they certainly rain terror at full force but in a shit storm of mediocrity rather than one of fire and brimstone.

As if the image of Satan’s minions coming to kill us and take our souls wasn’t gloomy enough. This foursome of uncreative and dry black metallers manage to chase you away without creating any actual threat. It’s all a slurry of repetitive droning and cheap tinny arpeggios that see about as much refreshing creativity as Ozzy Osbourne’s wrinkly old man skin (‘Returner’, ‘Helix Skull’, ‘Tragic Laurel’, ‘Red Crown’). Seriously, was this all recorded on MIDI instruments? What’s worse is Hunter-Hunt Hendrix whose indistinguishable vocal squawk roars through the sky with the ferocity and intensity of a dying pigeon (‘High Gold’, ‘True Will’).

Still if the only glimpses of anything half worth listening to felt optimistic enough, the potentially awesome hammering assault of heavy drop toned guitars that smash down in an endless thump of burning and distorted intensity never really go past that of their initial ideas, and with nothing else to really add or go along with, it all gets boring fast (‘Veigns of God’, ‘Generation’). This would be enough to torture anyone into misery.