On the Locrian timeline of Terrible YouTube Comment Trolling, previous album The Clearing was to “What is this, it sounds like just an INTRO, where’s the song??? this is BOOoooring, omg so tedious” what new album Return to Annihilation is to “what is this shoegaze-y post-rock bullshit??? too much like a real song! go back to the old stuff!!!” The trolls will never be satisfied, of course, but anyone with functioning ears and eyes can observe that Locrian continue to fucking dominate. Check out the video for the album’s opening cut, “Eternal Return,” above.
What hasn’t changed: visually, Locrian still lead us through the decaying urban spaces that have perfectly accompanied their music for some time now. Steven Hess’s thunderous drums still pound their way into our skulls until our hands raise up as if by their own accord into clenched fists of victory. Terrence Hannum’s synths still occupy massive swathes of aural real estate, swallowing us in the low-end while delivering those airy, mournful melodies in the upper register. Hannum’s anguished vocals still take us there, too, down to a subterranean granite chamber where his howling reverberates from wall to wall to wall to infinity.
What has changed: “Eternal Return,” though admittedly the front-loaded intro of an otherwise deeeeeep album, feels more like a “proper single” than anything the band has released before: three minutes of discernible riffage, something like a verse-chorus-verse structure, and those killer clean-tone leads from guitarist André Foisy (“What is this, the new MBV?”). Even in their most “accessible” moments, Locrian continue to surpass expectations.
Return To Annihilation is available now on CD and 2xLP via Relapse Records. Pick it up, put it on, fall into it.