LiturgyLiturgy are the first black metal band that truly embodies the ghosts of New York. They play metal like it's a minimalist downtown art/life/religion project in the tradition of dronemasters Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham and La Monte Young's Dream Syndicate. Through their own brand of growling, gnarling, lightning-fast black grind, Liturgy try to find euphoria through dissonance, repetition and volume--turning metal nightmares into something ready for the Dream House.
These jams almost sound like modern classical compositions, like Arvo Part composing for black metal band, when a song ends, you feel exhausted, and drained, like at the end of a long journey, but before you can even catch your breath, the band explode into action once again. And before you know it, they're locked into another high end blast of extreme tension, no let up, no slipping into acoustic interludes, it's almost like the musical version holding your breath, soaring as high and for as long as (in)humanly possible, so when the band does pause briefly, it knocks you on your ass, of when they switch gears and get all spacious and dynamic, it nearly blows your mind. 
When we first got this, we only listened to it a couple times, and thought it was pretty cool, but on repeated listens it is proving itself to be truly transcendental, and unlike almost all of the other black metal out there, and is quickly becoming a contender for black metal record of the year.
Even though Liturgy describes their music as "transcendental black metal", this music is so much more proggy and avant-garde than you'd expect. The album is the band's first release as a four piece, with Hunt-Hendrix teaming up with a second guitar player to whip out fierce walls of trebly, hyperfast tremelo picking that build into soaring melodic shapes. The drums blast relentlessly, but drummer Greg Fox combines his hectic blastbeats with cascading tom/snare rolls that gives this a fiery, jazzy feel and makes the music sound even more frenzied than if he was just playing straightforward blasts. The vocals are high pitched, washed-out howls, and the songs race along furiously, but behind the shredding trebly guitars and blurry black metal screams and chaotic drumming, Liturgy also craft amazingly beautiful harmonies that take over the sound, the guitars weaving themselves into ecstatic swarms of cyclical melody that feel like the guitar army compositions of Branca and Chatham transposed over blistering machine gun clatter. Liturgy's music is beautiful and mesmerizing, and quite unlike any black metal band I've ever heard. Highly recommended.
There are so many brilliant contradictions inside Liturgy's first studio full-length that it's almost headache-inducing to try and pull the whole thing apart. Every aspect of the album is an inverse of itself; a wondrous balancing act of triumph and desperation that throws the listener head first into a state of dark ecstasy. Such is the process of Renihilation, a term coined by band founder and guitarist/frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix to refer to the end product of a dissension against dissension, creating something entirely new and clear in the face of destruction. Renihilation begins with a multi-layered vocal track, one of four musical interludes, all simply titled "-." It sounds almost like Animal Collective, if the animals were ancient and mythological, covered in corpse paint. And all the sudden, a drumroll brings on "Pagan Dawn," a fiery blast of painfully uplifting black metal. Tremolo guitars move transparently through major and minor vamps, with Hunt-Hendrix's prophetic death screams somehow escaping to the top in a courageous blaze of raw emotion. [...] And somewhere between drummer Greg Fox's excavating blast beats and Hunt-Hendrix and guitarist Bernard Gann's dueling guitar arpeggios, a conflicting feeling of fear and admittance will make you realize this is the black metal album of the decade.
Liturgy @ MySpace