Locrian – Return to Annihilation (Relapse)

Sunday, 28th July 2013
Rating: 8/10

The discarded, solitary shopping cart depicted on the cover of Locrian’s Return to Annihilation is yet another attempt at visualizing the apocalypse. Now, for someone who spent a considerable amount of time in his teenage years working at a grocery store and pushing carts, a stray, idle shopping cart was usually an excuse to take a casual stroll to kill some time while on the clock. Now they’re going to be left standing when doomsday comes? They can now be placed into the same category as cockroaches and twinkies…real apocalypse survivors.

To the matter at hand: Chicago’s Locrian have largely existed off the radar for most, with their most notable foray being The Cleaning, which failed to measure. It wasn’t for lack of individuality though, for the trio (featuring Andre Foisy on guitars, bass, and drums, Terence Hannum on vocals, synths, tapes, and guitar, and newbie drummer Steven Hess) have come to specialize in dark, minimalistic drone metal. Return to Annihilation is a noticeable step up in all facets, utilizing hearty chord movements on “Eternal Return,” as well as softly-strummed acoustic guitars on “Two Moons,” which emerges as the highlight of the seven songs on display.

For all its moods and dark broods (check out the black metal action on “Obsolete Elegies”), it’s easy to get the feeling of gradual discomfort as Return to Annihilation moves along. It’s definitely a heightened listening experience, all the while traversing the lowest of lows, which aligns itself nicely with wiping the slate of the earth clean. Shopping carts be damned.

Locrian official website