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Sunday, July 17: Liturgy


Liturgy / Photo credit: MySpace

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The new album from high-minded black-metal riffers Liturgy opens with what sounds like popcorn kernels ricocheting around an empty grain silo. This lasts for just over a minute, slowly escalating into a Tommy Gun rat-a-tat racket before guitars, drums, bass and throat-clearing vocals suddenly come thundering in. The overall effect is much more uplifting than you might expect (you can picture the heavens parting). Aesthetica wastes no time in establishing a fascinating sonic dialectic, then proceeds to explore it in-depth over the course of the remaining 11 songs, each executed with as much voluble intensity as possible. It's conceptual "transcendental black metal" (in the words of frontman Hunter Hunt Hendrix) that's as brutal as it is bright - a curiously intellectual album that rocks harder than anything I've heard all year. 

[Northern, with Tecumseh, Anastatica, 8 p.m., all ages, $7, 321 Fourth Ave., Olympia,]

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