Liturgy - Origin Of The Alimonies review

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Band: Liturgy
Album: Origin Of The Alimonies
Release date: November 2020

01. The Seperation Of HAQQ From HAEL
02. OIOION's Birth
03. Lonely OIOION
04. The Fall Of SHIEYMN
05. SIHEYMN's Lament
06. Apparition Of The Eternal Church
07. The Armistice

Early this January, I published an 8.6 review of Liturgy's November 2019 album H.A.Q.Q.. This was about three years after I saddled 2015's The Ark Work with one of the most vitriolic reviews I've ever written, so I thought that that H.A.Q.Q. review was going to be the biggest shock I received in 2020.

I'll let the rest of that thought evaporate into nothingness, but for all of my destabilizing surprise, it seems that H.A.Q.Q. was no mere fluke. Either that or, as I posited in my review, I've just lost all four of the marbles that still remained lodged in my cranium. The most likely answer is both. Regardless, closing 2020 the same way I opened it - by enjoying a Liturgy album that any sane person should equate with violations of the Geneva Convention - seems only appropriate for the year.

What invoked my ire on The Ark Work and eventually my fascination on H.A.Q.Q. was not merely the fiendishly busy array of sounds and styles harvested for effect, but the unconscionably jarring way in which those fragments were jammed together all at ends with each other. Those two albums are pockmarked with stumbling transitions and pole-vaults into left turns that made listening a challenging experience. Origin Of The Alimonies is hardly less daring in its extreme tonalities, but it does not pursue that same excess of anxious, restive pacing. The first three tracks flow smoothly with consistent logic before reaching the first marked shift, and even when "Lonely OIOION" erupts into the solar flare of tremolo-picked feedback, glitchy stuttering, and brass gilding that has become the defining characteristic of Liturgy's "transcendental" black metal method, it is with a more intuitive understanding of how to build instead of simply carpet-bombing the listener with new sounds.

While the mood and tempo of Origin Of The Alimonies continue to shift with rare dexterity, the entire album is, to some extent, a single track in many phases; this album is more uniform than previous efforts, more heavily predicated on appreciating ambiance. Light on vocals, heavy on piano, and more approving of quieter instrumental passages, Origin Of The Alimonies contains fewer electronic elements and a less abrasive, less defiant mindset than H.A.Q.Q., although "SIHEYMN's Lament" sounds a little like a crunkcore remix of an Imogen Heap song, and I sliced my fingers off after typing that sentence. In spite of the horrors I've just brought into this world, however, this album often makes a conscious effort to be grand, with walls of strings and a post-rock sort of flow in volume and pace; the metal passages are solid assaults of sound with the now-characteristic tremolo-picked squealing and racing percussive blasts. Transcendental black metal, it seems, is simply a flood of impossibly bright sound emitted by a symphony-accompanied metal band, and it finds in "Apparition Of The Eternal Church" something that could be looked at as a defining composition.

I'm tempted to say that this is the least experimental and aggressively ineffable of the Liturgy albums I have thus far reviewed, but that's not to say that this is in any way "normal"; it'll still be a bitter pill to swallow for any listener who doesn't like their songs to skip or their blastbeats to be accompanied by trumpet. And with all the descriptors that you could append to this - blackened classical, avant-garde chamber djent, post-elevator glitch-gaze - I think it will be quite some time before Liturgy is able to be put solidly in a box, or even met with worthy competition. I wouldn't say I've gotten past the stage of feeling stupid for liking this (I mean, I shouldn't), but I think I must at least admit that I've come to enjoy Liturgy.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Production: 8


Written on 28.12.2020 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 170 users
28.12.2020 - 09:35
This is definitely among the least hard to get into albums of theirs, and probably the first one I actually looked forward to.
Jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

2021 goodies
29.12.2020 - 16:28
Troy Killjoy
Okay, one was forgivable but two is grounds for mutiny.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
30.12.2020 - 00:42
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.12.2020 at 16:28

Okay, one was forgivable but two is grounds for mutiny.

It just seemed like the appropriate thing to do this year.
"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.

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