While Locrian’s most recent monolith of a record Return to Annihilation proved more concise and songular than any of their previous work, the upcoming solo LP from the band’s singer/multi-instrumentalist Terence Hannum shifts the dial back into side-long minimal drone. At a low volume, the first excerpt from Spectral Life reaches us as an oscillation of cresting overtones. Cranked up all the way, Hannum’s drones overwhelm with detail and physicality. He finds room in his wide mix for vocal chants stretched to improbable lengths, cymbal crashes layered into a steady pulse, and spiny arpeggio sequences that air out for minutes on end. As they fade into the expanding haze, these voices sketch out a symphonic drone that can reward a close listen or soundtrack a muted meditation. The excerpt stream cuts off when that oscillator starts to squall like mad, and we’re left here imagining the heights (or depths) the session reaches before its conclusion. Black metal tremolo shreddery? Massive synth sub-bass? Tortured screams? Or naw, maybe he plays it cooool and dips all the way down into even purer tones.
We’ll find out when Spectral Life ships from Shelter Press on July 29. You can pre-order it here.