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Aesthethica (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

It's very tempting to break down Liturgy's sophomore album Aesthethica into the numerous parts that make it up, or point to the band's obvious influences. While Liturgy has gone to great lengths to insist they are a black metal band, the Brooklyn unit — vocalist/guitarist Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, drummer Greg Fox, bassist Tyler Dusenbury, and guitarist Bernard Gann — is much more. While it's true that Aesthethica reflects and retains the intensity and single-pointed, focused drive of their debut, Renihilation, their musical development — as composers and players — is undeniable. Where the former album relied heavily on simple song structures to anchor the overarching furiousness of their attack, Aesthethica, by contrast, is far more sophisticated; enough so to get them barred from the "black metal" club forever by purists. The minimal guitar plinks that intro the opener "High Gold" gain in frequency and become a blur before the entire unit kicks in on full stun. Fox's blastbeats quadruple-time the band, Hendrix shrieks incoherently, and the high-pitched, syncopated wall of guitars suggests an exponentially overblown version of one of Glenn Branca's guitar symphonies, but moves much further off the scale. "True Will" (whose lyrics are transcendentally spiritual) begins with a modern version of vocal polyphony before the violence of instruments creates a startling corridor of noise; before long, however, it reveals a very complex network of tones, sounds, pulses, and textures, and though it seems there are few of them here, actual spaces. Hendrix's screaming sounds more like ecstasy than pain, as if he is indeed communing with God in the outer reaches of the spheres. Each of these 12 tracks is so melodically and dynamically labyrinthine — not too mention outrageously heavy — they're exhausting. Other choice cuts include "Returner," "Red Crown," "Sun of Light," and closer "Harmonia" (the last of these at least appears to be slower, but that's deceptive). Aesthethica consists of intricate, sophisticated songs, full of majesty, nearly insane drive, intention, and the frighteningly unleashed power of emotion; and they all rock. Hard. This is extreme music. Period. It may come to define or utterly transcend metal; but it doesn't matter because this album is in its own class. Anyone remotely interested in heavy music needs to encounter Aesthethica at least once.

Customer Reviews

iTunes Liturgy $15 card

For Christmas this year I got a $15 iTunes gift card. I bought this album with it. Stellar, ground breaking, lifts you off your feet.

Liturgy takes you somewhere else, and it isn't pretty.

'Aesthethica' is the latest album from the black metal group from Brooklyn, NY, Liturgy. Liturgy is known by most music lovers by being not so smart during their interviews. Most members of the band are pretty young, so we shouldn't expect them to be perfect. Well, anyway, you need to forget about who is playing the music, and focus on the actual music.

'Aesthethica' opens up, and stays insane throughout the entire album. The opening track begins with some odd noises, followed by the heavily distorted guitar, getting strummed the hell out of. Suddenly, the guitar trance we're put in is interrupted with the lead vocalist's gravely screams. This extreme atmosphere brought on by the first track, doesn't end quickly.

The vocals on this album are nothing to mess with. The blood curdelling screams never seem to let up. The guitar playing is also something spectacular. The chord progressions are played at insane speeds, and are constantly changing.

Overall, this is a fantastic album. American black metal at its finest. If you want some insane, loud black metal, check this out. If not, but still want some great black metal, buy some Wolves In The Throne.


You know this is good

When you get a dichotomy of 5 stars and one stars you know the band is groundbreaking and the old guard is scared. New fresh talent and while some want to call this black metal, it’s more avant-garde bliss. Good stuff and give it a couple of listens. Like Slayer back in the 80’s, it doesn’t catch you right away but once it does it never lets go


Formed: Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Liturgy is a black metal group from Brooklyn, New York, comprised of Hunt Hendrix, Greg Fox, Tyler Dusenbury, and Bernard Gann. Impressed by the intense blastbeats, cyclical guitar riffs, and howling vocals, 20 Buck Spin signed Liturgy for their first album, Renihilation, in 2009. Later, the band joined Thrill Jockey's diverse roster for their 2011 follow-up, Aesthethica, which was accompanied by an interview DVD with Hendrix, where he defined his band's music as "Transcendental Black Metal" that...
Full Bio
Aesthethica (Bonus Track Version), Liturgy
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Customer Ratings