New Reviews from the Ear Cube

Locrian- Drenched Lands

A new album from Locrian, and you get the usual copious amount of heavy drone & metal influenced guitar work, but “Drenched Lands” is strangely meditative considering the amount of twisted guitar shredding. “Barren Temple Obscured by Contaminated Fogs” is mostly dominated by incoherent metal screaming and followed by “Epicedium” which is more reminiscent of Cluster & Eno for the first 3 1/2 minutes before the lurching heavy guitars show up and stomp all over the kosmische organ and Frippertronic guitars. The final track, “Grayfield Shrines” is a massive mountain of astral guitar noodling and piercing drones. Ambient metal? Works for me.

Lugubrum- Albino De Congo

The last album couldn’t have shown up in my inbox at a better time, because the last week I’ve been diving head-on into the world of black metal. This latest from Belgos Lugubrum is a move away from their “brown metal” rural roots (read: less banjos & saxophones), but as usual Lugubrum manage to ruffle some metal purists’ feathers with excursions into acoustic music, sample-based darkwave and a focus on slower, progressive bass-driven riffs that are more like the mellower side of Circle. They’re still well-stocked with constipated vocals and thrash guitar though, so don’t be too worried.

Masayuki Takayanagi/Kaoru Abe- New Projection

After a couple hours of metal, some Japanese free skronk is just the thing to clean the wax out of my ears. Takayanagi and Abe are like the Brotzmann & Sharrock of Japan, and this record spews more jazz annihilation than Last Exit could even dream of. Abe’s sax is definitely well-steeped in Albert Ayler’s spiritual folk themes and out-there travelings, but Takayanagi’s guitar destruction is completely peerless and frightening in its intensity. This record’s from 1970, and can still kick the living shit outta any free-jazz-inspired noise getting made today. Hell, noise hipsters can’t even handle more than 10 minutes of Conrad Schnitzler’s “Con Repetizione”, how would they take an hour of this ultraviolence? Put this one on at the next noise show you’re at and watch ’em cut and run.

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