Nothing brings out both the champions and haters more fervently than United States originated black metal—more specifically, the kind that moves away from the corpse paint-soaked origins and towards more modern, unrelated lyrical and aesthetic content Ten years after Deafheaven released Sunbather, their polarizing landmark sophomore album that mixed black metal tropes with elements of post rock, screamo and shoegaze, arguments are still constantly made in metal circles regarding the merit of non-legacy acts in the genre.
Perhaps no other band is as familiar with the brunt of this argument being thrusted upon them than Brooklyn’s Liturgy, spearheaded by Haela Ravenna Hunt-Hendrix, guitarist, vocalist and overall mastermind behind the moniker. Self-dubbed “Transcendental Black Metal”, the band has gained both detractors and supporters in equal measure through the past decade-plus, and certainly their new album, 93969 will further the conversation. Running at well over an hour in length and recorded with the legendary Steve Albini, it’s a record with plenty of intriguing moments, but one that ultimately feels too big for it’s own good, overstuffed and oversaturated to a degree that can make it quite difficult to take in as a whole.
Those who are fans of the consistent tremolo-heavy guitarwork and high-pitched vocals employed by many modern black metal bands will certainly find quite a bit to sink their teeth into here, and there’s certainly no questioning the passion put into the performances on this record. The album’s strikingly raw and stripped-down production also serves to differentiate 93969 from Liturgy’s peers, foregoing the usual two forking paths of the genre: lo-fi production, or a massive, theatrical style recording. The end-result actually sits squarely in the middle of these two, almost feeling like you’re sitting in with the band as they perform the record live in the studio, which I’d imagine is exactly what they intended here. It serves as one of the highlights of the record and helps the more memorable moments stand out that much more, cementing Liturgy as a unique band that doesn’t quite sound like anyone else.
Unfortunately, 93696 also feels overdrawn and simply too lengthy to achieve maximum impact. Lengthy interludes permeate the record to a fault, with some even falling back to back. These don’t add much at all to the record in terms of dynamics and feel like they could have been left out entirely. Even with those aspects removed, certain songs just feel overly long to the point of wearing out their welcome, and by the time you’re past the halfway mark and realize there’s still 30+ minutes of material left, fatigue can quickly set in.
It’s a shame because the second half of the album is where things start to get much more interesting, starting off with the sprawling, standout 14-minute title track that contains easily the most unique and engaging material on the entire album. The track mixes the typical hyper-melodic black metal from the band mixed with some truly crushing low-end heaviness that immediately jumps out at you. The difference in songwriting style is noticeable to the point where it almost feels like the second half of 93696 would have been better suited to it’s own separate record entirely. There’s some truly great material to be found here in the latter half of the record, so it’s unfortunate that it can feel like a slog to get to that point.
Bottom Line: 93969 is nothing if not ambitious. It’s a sprawling journey that’s unfortunately consistently hindered by it’s length, with a somewhat mediocre first half that belies a much more interesting and engaging second act. While it’s hard to recommend as a whole, it’s incredible title track is at the least one I’d recommend to anyone interested in the least in modern US black metal. Less would certainly have been more in this specific case.
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^and? Most shooters are radical right wing men. This album is gas.
The Colorado Springs shooter identified as non binary. The Denver shooter identified as trans. The Aberdeen shooter identified as trans. The Nashville shooter identified as trans. One thing is VERY clear: the modern trans movement is radicalizing activists into terrorists.
"One thing is VERY clear: the modern trans movement is radicalizing activists into terrorists." Since mass shootings are woke now, maybe right wing conservatives will stop committing the overwhelming majority of them.
"The Colorado Springs shooter identified as non binary." Bullshit. The dude said it through a grin to get media favor.
One thing is VERY clear: the modern trans movement is radicalizing activists into terrorists." Since mass shootings are woke now, maybe right wing conservatives will stop committing the overwhelming majority of them. HA!
"Since mass shootings are woke now, maybe right wing conservatives will stop committing the overwhelming majority of them." Might as well close this comment thread now because every alt right chud who could put up an argument just got buried with this one lmao. I mean aside from the fact that what this was a response to was complete bullshit. But nothing conservatives love more than being afraid of everything and fabricating terrorists is especially a big favorite so no surprise there. f*ckin lunkheads lmao
Nothing brings out both the champions and haters more fervently than United States originated black metal Where the hell do you come up with this bullshit?
You can dislike tranners and republicans at the same time you grandstanding retards
^Republicans and trans people aren't equivalent. There is no reason to dislike trans people, Republicans are trash. Make a choice, fence sitter.
Well, for starters, this band is not black metal, and the others mentioned aren't either. Just screamo mixed with shit. At least be honest.
Nashville school shooter was a transgender woman.