Following the release of their 2011 breakthrough album Aesthethica, Liturgy frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix suggested that its follow-up could see the band move away from its standard “transcendental black metal” and incorporate more “electronic elements” and production values. Turns out the Brooklyn outift more than followed through with its sonic renovation, as we’ll hear with the release of The Ark Work on March 24th via Thrill Jockey.
Press for the 10-track effort describes it as featuring “cross-fertilized hardstyle beats,” “glitched re-sampling of IDM,” and “occult-orientated rap.” The release goes on to explain that Ark Work “hums and churns with Hunt-Hendrix’s inventive arrangements — drenched with glockenspiels, bagpipes, strings, ritual chanting, and MIDI horns. It supplements its metal energy with motifs from unlikely, disparate genres. The result is a rich, seething cyber-fantasia that is improbably listenable, a blend of startling invention, high caliber musicianship, raw energy, and profound, cosmic sadness.”
The LP also marks the reformation of the band’s original lineup, as bassist Tyler Dunesbury and drummer Greg Fox have returned to the fold. Though the foursome recorded Aesthetica together, Hunt-Hendrix and guitarist Bernard Gann spent the last several years touring exclusively as a duo.
For our first taste of the new and improved Liturgy, the band has shared the album’s lead single, “Quetzalcoatl”. Technically, the song couldn’t be further from the confines of black metal, a kind of jarring, slightly glithchy patchwork of IDM rhythms, speed metal percussion, random studio noise, and off-kilter vocals. Yet what remains is the intensity and aggression of black metal, serving as an unyielding link to Liturgy’s musical past. Listen in below.
The Ark Work Tracklist:
03. Kel Valhaal
04. Follow II
06. Father Vorizen
08. Reign Array
10. Total War