For over a decade, Haela Ravenna Hunt-Hendrix has cloaked her shapeshifting metallic band Liturgy in a dense matrix of symbology. Diving into her Substack and YouTube channel, the place she connects dots between Marxist thought, the Upanishads, Thomas Aquinas, and Aleister Crowley, might be as enlightening as it’s mystifying. For all of Hunt-Hendrix’s theorizing, although, the music has all the time been thrillingly bodily. It’s one factor to examine her idea of the “burst beat” and the way her rapid-fire rhythms are meant to induce a state of awakening and transformation. It’s one other factor to easily really feel it.
Devotees keen to trawl by means of Hunt-Hendrix’s numerous diagrammatic wireframes could discover a recurring theme, maybe finest encapsulated by the title of one in all her movies: “What Will Heaven Be Like? (Half 1).” Hunt-Hendrix’s music reaches towards utopian catharsis, reshaping the craven and nihilistic timbres of black metallic into blissful, glowing pillars of sound. In her manifestos, she’s described a need to create music that pushes listeners towards self-discovery and actualization, a aim that’s taken on extra private weight after she got here out as trans in 2020. “Gender dysphoria is a large a part of what made me make this music,” she informed the Needle Drop. 93696, whose title is meant to imply “heaven” in response to Hunt-Hendrix’s interpretation of Thelemic numerology, performs as its identify suggests: That is Liturgy of their purest type, tapping all of their strengths to succeed in their most radiant incarnation but.
Throughout 80 minutes, 93696 incorporates parts from all through Liturgy’s evolution. The mathy riffs of 2011’s Aesthetica, the glitch-hop of 2015’s The Ark Work, and the baroque orchestration of 2019’s H.A.Q.Q. and 2020’s Origin of the Alimonies are all accounted for (even riffs and motifs from earlier songs reappear right here in new shapes). 93696 could not current something Liturgy haven’t completed earlier than, nevertheless it connects their many zigzagging roads right into a wealthy cartography. Take “Djennaration,” whose vicious symphonic assault smashes by means of the gates within the album’s opening minutes. As its melody unfurls, drummer Leo Didkovsky batters his snare inside an inch of its life. When Hunt-Hendrix’s shriek lastly emerges, surrounded by chirping flutes, she sounds as if she had been attempting to tear a gap by means of the sky. After three repeatedly crescendoing minutes, a hip-hop bridge abruptly drops in, its rumbling bass and coarse handclaps discovering a extra pure interaction than her earlier dalliances into the style.
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