BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Black clouds duet with silver linings on Return to Annihilation, the latest record from experimental trio Locrian. The Chicago band layers psychedelic drones against extreme metal scree, taking delight in letting the carefully balanced extremes extract the very essences of each. The sedate “Two Moons” and “Exiting the Hall of Vapor and Light” may not reach the eruption promised by the consistent buzz under the waves, but the cochlea-wrecking “Eternal Return” provides the requisite painful thrills.
But it’s combo packs like the title track, “Obsolete Elegies” and “A Visitation From the Wrath of Heaven” that truly provide the best value, as elegiac melody meets massive interference, warm distortion fails in covering tortured shrieks and the band shows a casual disregard for matching colors. Locrian proves itself expert in simultaneously exploiting the warm blanket of beauty and the cold ice water of noise.
DOWNLOAD: “A Visitation From the Wrath of Heaven,” “Return to Annihilation,” “Exiting the Hall of Vapor and Light”