Upon first attempted listen to “The Ark Work” by Liturgy, it made me hate music. That told me that I should stop listening to it immediately. I should mention I have an extremely high tolerance for the avant garde. I like Kayo Dot and they’ve done some very weird shit.
Liturgy seem to be out to make an album to challenge the listeners patience and tolerance for bells. The track “Kel Valhaal” is so overrun with glockenspiels, it is impossible to last the seven plus minutes that it shits into your ear canal. Do things get better? Since they cannot get worse than that, it has to improve.
“Follow II” is just as odd but not nearly as annoying. “Quetzalcoatl” actually resembles a song. Not a bad song, but not a very good song either. The over repetition of certain instruments make the arrangement enough to sabotage what seems like a decent song underneath layers of stupidity.
It’s a this point that you wonder if Liturgy is being serious by releasing this album or are they seeing just how much the listener can tolerate before attempting suicide. The next track “Father Vorizen” is a legitimate metal song with a solid riff and if I were to somehow recommend someone to listen to a track off of “The Ark Work,” I suppose it would be this one purely by default. But vocalist and “mastermind” Hunter Hunt-Hendrix has such a monotone voice, it makes the song bland overall.
Seeing that “Reign Array” is 11 and a half minutes in length normally is a great moment for a prog fan, but given how this album generally beats horrible riffs to death, it is more concerning than hopeful. Sure enough, even with good blast beats, that are buried in the mix, the song is a mix bag of potentially good music, the bland vocals of Hunt-Hendrix and the bagpipes? I actually don’t mind the song overall but I wonder if that’s because the song is actually good or am I punch-drunk from the songs before it?
Then you have the oddball triphop of “Vitriol” which is another incredibly annoying song. And I guess that’s the summary here, Liturgy have been trying to make the definitive “Transcendental Black Metal” album. Since a self created genre really cannot be argued, maybe they’ve done it. I have to give credit to Liturgy for releasing “The Ark Work” which is a middle finger to the average listener. Is it awful? Sometimes it is terrible. But maybe it is supposed to be. The lows make the highs even higher. This album seems like one that will need a great deal of patience. Beware.
Rating: 3/10 but it might be 7/10 if you skip certain tracks.
3. Kel Valhaal
4. Follow II
6. Father Vorizen
8. Reign Array
10. Total War