A marked change had come over the forest, as if dusk had begun to fall. Everywhere the glacé sheaths which enveloped the trees and vegetation had become duller and more opaque. The crystal floor underfoot was occluded and gray, turning the needles into spurs of basalt. The brilliant panoply of colored light had gone, and a dim amber glow moved across the trees, shadowing the sequined floor. At the same time it had become considerably colder.
The Crystal World, the third studio album from Locrian, is an epic journey. Titled after JG Ballard’s 1964 novel that tells the story of a physician who specializes in leprosy sent to a remote African outpost to discover a jungle that is slowly crystallizing and encroaching upon everything it touches. Disc one comprises six tracks while disc two consists of one extended piece, Extinction, that picks up on the intensity of disc one and sustains it for close to an hour. On The Crystal World, Terence Hannum, and André Foisy, are joined by Steven Hess (On, Pan American, Ural Umbo) on percussion and electronics. Hess’ contribution pushes Locrian deeper into the abyss of despair rendering a sound that is darker, bleaker, and engulfing than any of the group’s previous releases. Locrian continue the conceptual trajectory of blackened drone that the group initially embarked on during their first studio album Drenched Lands (2009). Masters of layering, The Crystal World finds the group manipulating tones and textures that transport the listener to an apocalyptic wasteland. At times, the layers are serene and somber, at other times they are chaotic.
The Crystal World is Locrian's essential release, finding the band creating a sound all of their own. A sound that evades simplistic analogies to black metal, power-electronics, noise, or other categories. This is the album that will stun fans of the bands previous works with how far the group has come from their early releases. Presented in a Stoughton gatefold sleeve with art by Vberkvlt.