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Liturgy - 'Renihilation'

About.com Rating 1.5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


Liturgy - Renihilation

Liturgy - Renihilation

20 Buck Spin

The Bottom Line

Hipsters attempt to climb black metal parapets; get crushed by hooves of the devil.
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  • Lo-fi guitar sound cuts through the mix.
  • Seeks to capture a vintage sound.


  • Uninteresting guitar work.
  • Poor, unmemorable song structure.
  • Doesn’t translate conceptually to the listener.


  • Released August 25, 2009 on 20 Buck Spin.
  • Brooklyn-based band’s full length debut.
  • Recorded at the Thousands Caves Of Menegroth with Colin Marston of Krallice.

Guide Review - Liturgy - 'Renihilation'

Liturgy’s Renihilation debut almost reeks of hipster irony. This thing stinks to high heaven and could only have been unearthed in Brooklyn. “Indie Black Metal” they call it, as if we didn’t have enough ridiculous terms to contend with these days. The resulting noise is exactly that: an excuse for the self-congratulatory back-slappers to try their hand at the “underground.”

While I’m not too personally biased/miffed against this sort of practice when it’s done right, I can call a spade when I see one. In Liturgy’s case, the quartet fails in a musical sense: as in they’re just not very good. Where a band such as Wolves In The Throne Room succeeds both conceptually and musically in their attempts to bridge indie ideals with blasphemous BM, Liturgy fail from the get-go with their inept and unoriginal attempts at a Nattens Madrigal photocopy.

The guitar work of Bernard Gann and the so-ludicrous-it’s-just-got-to-be-a-pseudonym Hunter Hunt-Hendrix revels in lo-fi, yet does so inadequately with an equally (in)offensive wink and nudge to the genre it’s supposed to be mimicking. In other words, even with the band’s Colin Marston at the producers helm, Krallice this band is not. While Triple H’s (ugh) howl is desperate enough, the bulk of Renihilation is vague discordance, bereft of the necessary atmosphere or imagination needed to push an idea like this through the so-often closed-minds of the black metal subculture.

Ultimately, it proves difficult to separate the musical merits—or lack thereof— Renihilation possesses from the disingenuousness perpetrated by this album’s aura. Luckily, this writer doesn’t have to, because Liturgy just isn’t up to snuff. If you’re searching for something unique in the black metal world, go out and purchase the new Glorior Belli, and leave this to the hipsters who will probably grow tired of it in a few weeks.

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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
George is Very Wrong, Member truthserum666

Quite contrary to what the above reviewer has asserted, I think Liturgy's Renihilation might be one of the most innovative metal albums of the past few years. While comparisons to Nattens Madrigal are easy enough to make, I would never call this a ""photocopy."" What Liturgy has done is take the Black Metal tradition and make an attempt to turn it on its head. Liturgy, both conceptually and musically, is taking the standard BM veneer of nihilism and negativity and thrusting it out into the cold, purifying light of the eternal. While this may sound like a lot of New Age garbage, the fact of the matter is that the band is intent on conveying their intent through the music. Liturgy is NOT a Black Metal band, indie or otherwise. I would argue that they might even defy categorization as a metal band per se, as their sound is almost too experimental. Thus George has insisted that Renihilation ""Doesn't translate conceptually to the listener."" Perhaps the reason it hasn't translated conceptually to this singular listener is because he is simply not paying attention to what Liturgy is trying to do. While this may ruffle the feathers of crusty old metalheads who grumble every time they hear the word ""indie"", I think Liturgy will remain impervious to the impotent whines of the metal community and stay their own course. With this band, the best is yet to come.

18 out of 21 people found this helpful.

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