100 Shows of 2010 - #90: Liturgy @ Comet Ping Pong, 11/19/10

It is amazing sometimes what a change of scenery can do to the way one thinks about music. During my two and a half relatively awesome years living down in Richmond, capital city of the Commonwealth of Virginia, my musical parameters were expanded more than perhaps any other time in my music-loving life. While my time in Richmond was full of goodness, that one thing seems to take precedence over anything else: The Major Expansion of My Musical Sensibilities (yeah, it warrants all those caps, believe you me). Not only did I develop a deeper love and appreciation for important musical geniuses of the past, but so too did my cold black heart take a liking to a rather unexpected genre: Metal. After all, Richmond is a very metal city. Any given night of any given metal show, throngs of people will emerge to nod their heads and suck down can after can of PBR. The love that city has for that scene pulled me in, and while I'm still not ready to pledge full-on allegiance to the metal gods just yet, this proclivity towards warm fuzzy metal love meant I was way excited to see the much-buzzed about black metal glory of Liturgy as they ventured down from Gotham and played DC. My friends, it was hell on wheels. Which, as you might suspect, is a very, very good thing indeed.

MINI RECAP: Liturgy = Unholy Hellions! Overall Score: A

I knew, from the very first note, that this would be quite possibly one of the loudest sets I'd seen this year. I was equally excited by and horrified by this idea. The Richmond in me immediately loved them to pieces, full as they are of sonic abuses. They quite amusingly sent some kids fleeing from the room, whereas the litany of noise drew in others. "Fuck yeah," someone yelled after harrowingly heavy opening song "High Gold", and really, he got it in one.

I stood there, friends, totally enthralled, letting wave after vicious wave of fury and ferocity wash over me. During second song "Sun of Light" I decided this is a very, very good band. The way they can express acute agony and darkness through the furious slaughter of guitar riffs, or an anguished howl, is second to none. They were nothing short of overpowering. Unlike a lot of metal I've seen, though, there was a certain sense of control in their performance, and a definite sense of beauty somewhere there amongst the crushing blows of their musical assault. I'll liken it to, say, staring at a work of art you don't necessarily get. Jackson Pollock comes to mind. Some folks just don't see the beauty there in those splatters, but some of us do. And believe me when I say to you, friends, there is something very beautiful in the tortuous racket made by Liturgy.

The band seemed consumed by the task at hand at all times, stopping for only the briefest interaction with the crowd before resuming their mission. The songs were brutal, each and every one, but damned if I didn't love 'em all. In a way, I think they've raised the stakes. It's no longer just about how insanely, wake-the-dead loud you can be, or how you toss your long, flowing locks. These songs have purpose, drive and they made a delicate gal like me feel all a-twitter with fury. They killed their set seven ways to Sunday, and converted me in just six songs.

If you're even slightly intrigued by the dark arts of black metal, you owe it to yourself to check out a live Liturgy show. Hell, even if you hate metal, go see 'em. Just because.

mp3: Ecstatic Rite (WFMU Session) (Liturgy from Renihilation)


Popular Posts