Liturgy is a Brooklyn-based, self-styled “Transcendental Black Metal” band whose yearning, energetic music exists in an uncanny space between avant rock, black metal, fine art and shamanic ritual. Led by songwriter and conceptual architect Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, who is joined by guitarist Bernard Gann, bassist Tyler Dusenbury and drummer Greg Fox, the band exists as a 21st century total work of art (gesamtkunstwerk): activating divine potencies by means of music and culture even as it underscores the contradictions inherent in such a project during the internet era. Their third full length, The Ark Work, is a quantum leap forward, a radical change in sound that paradoxically sounds more like Liturgy than ever.
The album hums and churns with Hunt-Hendrix’s inventive arrangements – drenched with glockenspiels, bagpipes, strings, ritual chanting, and MIDI horns. It supplements its metal energy with motifs from unlikely, disparate genres; cross-fertilizing hardstyle beats, occult-oriented rap, and the glitched re-sampling of IDM and with structures from Medieval sacred music, Romantic classical music, and minimalism. The result is a rich, seething cyber-fantasia that is improbably listenable, conveying the disarming, authentic emotion that is Liturgy’s hallmark – a blend of startling invention, high caliber musicianship, raw energy, and profound, cosmic sadness.