Friday, May 20, 2011
Hypehammer: Liturgy - Aesthethica
On this installment of Hypehammer, we suffered through Liturgy's latest turgid, absurdly pretentious sophomore album 'Aesthethica' so you don't have to. Here's what we thought.
Pavel: Look, I'm just saying, I liked Liturgy's first album. Regardless of all the bullshit around it, I could put it on and hesh out, because I thought they were well-constructed songs with interesting melodies and art-rock textures, even if they weren't really black metal.
Noktorn: Okay, that's a character flaw that I can accept from you. But we're talking about 'Aesthethica' here. It fucking sucks.
P: Yeah, it's really gay and terrible.
N: For me, the biggest problem with Liturgy is that they make all the bullshit philosophy and aesthetic behind this music so inextricably tied to the music itself I can't see it any other way. I literally cannot listen to this music objectively.
P: Well, I'd say there's a big difference between this album and the last one. I mean, Liturgy's always been sort of a response to black metal, but on the first album it just felt like they were trying a lot harder. Here, they just sort of... Kralliced out. They did exactly what everyone was expecting.
N: I personally think that the overall concept of Liturgy is that it's not about the music so much as what the music says about you. Not "I like Liturgy's music," but "Listening to Liturgy means that I'm THIS kind of person." It's a statement with music put on the back burner. Of course this is without even going into Hendrix's bullshit musical philosophy.
P: Well, I think you can make the argument that a lot of music creates that sort of identity and branding around itself. Definitely everything else in the hipster black metal movement Liturgy's a part of, but it extends past that as well.
N: You see, I think there's a couple points that really PROVE the aesthetic thing. Like on 'Veins of God'-
P: I like that riff.
N: Yeah, but it's transparent. 'Veins of God' is basically a stoner rock song because Liturgy's playing to an established audience. They're the kind of people who like stoner rock, so Liturgy will put what amounts to a stoner rock song on their album because their audience appreciates it, regardless of whether it's musically congruent.
P: You're looking at it from a Brooklyn Vegan sort of perspective there, though, where something is 'sludge' because heavy and slow = doom. When I listen to that, it just sounds like a slow hardcore riff, something derived from Converge and shit. You don't really need to put so much emphasis on THAT in particular.
N: Okay, well what about 'Glass Earth'?
P: Well that's just an obvious filler track. It's Liturgy's equivalent to the typical black metal spooky synth interlude. It sounds like it was embarrassing to record.
N: Just getting back to the raw music, though, every track pretty much sounds the same. If you've heard one of the 'black metal' tracks, you've heard them all. Plus, I can't fucking stand that obnoxious burst-rhythm stuff they do where they keep hitting a single high chord in an erratic pattern. It does nothing for me. Sounds like they're aping Rush or something.
P: I think that's to build tension, but it doesn't really work. I guess the IDEA could be cool, but it's horribly applied. There's a lot of little moments on this that make me think of the first album, like the beginning of 'Harmonia', but they never go anywhere or lead to anything. Honestly, I think that what happened is that Liturgy basically saw what the metal scene was saying about them and decided 'You know what, we're just going to do exactly what Liturgy is all about and make a really gay album.' It's another response to the scene.
N: Well, intentionally gay doesn't make it any less gay.
P: You know, these guys have been completely ostracized from the New York metal scene. They basically can't get on shows with any metal bands anymore, so they keep getting put on indie rock shows and stuff. I mean, I understand why they'd do that, but-
N: Nope, they asked for it. They antagonized the whole metal scene and now they're laying in the bed they made. I mean, I might feel kind of bad for them, but come on, what did they expect?
P: Well- yeah. Yeah. They're getting what they asked for.
Buy this album on Amazon