Picture of Liturgy

Immortal Life EP

Liturgy - Immortal Life EP ©2008 Infinite Limbs
1. Immortal Life
2. Life After Life
3. Everquest I
4. Everquest II
5. No More Sorry
6. Vessel of Everthirst

Liturgy is the brainchild of Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, a New York based musician who has apparently come up with the idea of "transcendental black metal" and has even written some sort of manifesto on the subject. From a bit of looking around on the ol' internets, it would appear Liturgy's mere existence in the black metal world has riled up some of the purists who do not seem too keen on a bunch of indie rock looking fellows calling themselves "black metal", no matter what subgenre tags they place on it. It probably merits mentioning that the exclusive inner circle, treehouse club mentality of the early Norwegian scene is long dead and black metal has become quite populist in the past two decades. If nothing else, the fact that this Hunt-Hendrix fellow is writing "academic" papers about his music suggests he's very much tied into the pompous aspects of the style.

Originally, Hunt-Hendrix approached Liturgy as his sole baby and released Immortal Life as a one man project. And, sadly, it sounds like it. Armed with a drum machine and absolutely no desire to make anything sound pleasant, Hunt-Hendrix came up with a fifteen minute EP of industrialized black noise which only peripherally could be considered black metal, at least for those who get moony-eyed and think about Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger. Whether the ugly, equalizer-murdering sound was by design or just simply a product of naive excitement at tackling a new sound, Immortal Life is a very difficult listen, and not in the way that ultimately rewards listeners. Some current black metal bands actually manage to erect a wall of noise, yet harness it into a cohesive output, but Liturgy falls short on this EP. I should also point out that "Everquest I & II" make me think this guy is a bit of a nerd.

For those who might be curious about Liturgy, it should be noted that Hunt-Hendrix enlisted some other musicians to turn the bedroom project into a full fledged band. Later releases show the experimentalism but considering honed into a much better weapon. Immortal Life comes across as a demo at best, but a very unappealing introduction to a new band.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2012

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