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Liturgy - 93696 (Album Review)

Friday, 31 March 2023 Written by Tom Morgan

Photo: Alexander Perrelli

The world is starting to catch up with Liturgy. Haela Ravenna Hunt-Hendrix’s experimental black metal project was once the subject of immense opprobrium, stemming from her genre-busting music as much as her highbrow philosophical themes.

Maybe it took time for metal culture to become as equally open-minded, or perhaps fully understanding Liturgy requires access to a larger discography, but today the group feels more effortless, elegant and less wilfully oblique than they previously did.

Elegant and less oblique sounds an odd way of describing the band’s 80 minute latest ‘93696’, but it fits. These 15 songs flow beautifully, while the interruptions from bells, electronics and choirs feel more sharply-realised than ever before.

‘93696’ contains little experimentation from Liturgy, which actually works in its favour. Orchestral lulls such as Angel of Sovereignty and Individuation are familiarly gorgeous, while the heavenly major key black metal of Djennaration and the title track are a thrill.

The most memorable tracks include the groove-leaden Before I Knew the Truth, which is sliced apart by sharp guitar layers and electronic jitters, as well as the towering climax Antigone II. These monolithic heights are like Biblically-accurate angels (Google it)—ravishing, incomprehensible and intimidating.

Even if it isn’t their most distinctive work, ‘93696’ is certainly Liturgy’s easiest-to grasp collection. If you can tune into its eccentricities, this giant slab of raw, maximalist experimental metal is often as emotionally engaging as it is densely esoteric.

Liturgy Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue August 22 2023 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Wed August 23 2023 - BRIGHTON Green Door Store
Thu August 24 2023 - LONDON Oslo

Compare & Buy Liturgy Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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