How do you perfect that which is imperfect on it's face? It's not a question I've ever sat and pondered before. But after listening to a Locrian composition, it's a question I can't get away from. This Chicago three piece carry with them the burden of a million genre tags; everything from experimental to black, electronic to noise. But unlike many of the bands who use words to say nothing, Locrian embody each and every style you've seen attached to their name. One spin through Infinite Dissolution, and you'll wonder what you just heard. The second time through, and you'll wonder where the time went. But a third time through, and you'll wonder how you'd gone so long without hearing anything like this before. A combination of dark ambient sounds, clean electronics and harsh elements, your words desert you.
What you find on the album is that it's boundless; there doesn't appear to be a formula for getting from point a to point b on any given track. It moves and shifts organically throughout, and that is, perhaps what makes it so easy to listen to. Moreover, the entire arc takes place at the intersection of raw and polished, as if Locrian has found that mythical realm few have even claimed to see. The scant howling vocals are tucked behind wave after wave of guitar, bass and drum, as you find on opening Arc Of Extinction. By no means is this a criticism or complaint, though. The focus is on the instrumental, which is an ever-changing entity. For every point, there is a counterpoint. For every punch, there is an equal and opposite. That fact alone adds depth to the compositions. Whether you find yourself caught in the subtleties of an instrumental like Dark Shales, or the equal and opposite The Future Of Death, simply doesn't matter. They offset and balance one another, truly parts of the same whole.
Perhaps the most intriguing tracks on the album, the trio KXL I, KXLII, and KXL III are smartly conceived exhibitions of noise and drone, relying on textures and sounds in very interesting and unique ways. Their respective placement on the album, then, at tracks three, six, and nine makes them all the more profound. It speaks to the architecture of the album on the whole, which often feels as though it is being drawn up and decided upon as it goes. But that thought doesn't say everything that it needs to. While each track stands alone, they need the one before and after to be as bold and dynamic as they truly are. Both The Great Dying and Heavy Water are delicate and pulsating at the same time. You could isolate either one of them, dissect it as a single or an album all by itself. But standing back to back, the impact is exponentially greater.
Hearing an album like this isn't an everyday occurrence. And it brings about so many questions, while still feeling like a closed ended statement. Because while the finished product is structurally sound and sonically impressive, how did it even get from creation to realization? How did anyone have the foresight to know that this combination of sounds, noise, electronics and vocals could coexist, let alone thrive as a unit? Many bands struggle to assemble three parts in straightforward and ordinary fashions. Locrian have thrown away the instruction manual, and somehow turned a kit for a 1957 Chevy pickup into the International Space Station. Infinite Dissolution is a monument to music without limits or constraints, but one that avoids chaos. It isn't perfect, nor could it ever be. But it's about as close as a makeshift space station could be.
Bandcamp - https://locrian.bandcamp.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/LocrianOfficial