2020 will see the release of two separate full-lengths from New York’s Liturgy and Hunter Hunt-Hendrix – one being a new Liturgy studio album titled HAQQ, featuring the previously released monumental single “God of Love” which Tiny Mix Tapes praised, stating: “Between its rhapsodic strings, cascading harp, and thunderous wall of drums, this new track sees the band finding yet another new paradigm in their legacy of avant-garde metal,” while Brooklyn Vegan noted “it’s an eight-minute track that works an orchestra and a harp into Liturgy’s increasingly distinct brand of post-black metal,” and The Needle Drop exclaimed: “[“God of Love” is] transcendental, powerful, amazing work. No band right now is putting out guitars, and drums, and compositions that sound like this, and it is insane. It’s amazing, actually.”
Hunter Hunt-Hendrix will also release the soundtrack to the Origin of the Alimonies opera which features Liturgy along with musicians Nate Wooley, Eve Essex, Josh Modney, Carrie Frey, Caleigh Drane, James Ilgenfritz, Marilu Donovan, and Eric Wubbels.
Today comes the release of “Apparition Of The Eternal Church,” an interlude from the Origin of the Alimonies opera and an interpretation/arrangement of French composer Olivier Messiaen’s solo organ piece Apparition Sur l’Elise Eternelle (1932), arranged and considerably altered and expanded. In the opera, this section comes at a crucial moment. Beforehand, a divine trauma and splitting have taken place between a pair of confused Gods. Afterwards, the world and civilisation we know comes into being and human history is initiated.
This engagement with the work of Messiaen – one of the 20th century’s great composer-mystics – is to recognise his membership in a lineage of world-historical sacred transgression that Hunt-Hendrix calls The Ark Work, and to reactivate his contribution. Says Hunt-Hendrix “For this piece I’m interested in finding divinity in the resonance and discord between the classical tradition and underground experimental music, both at the stylistic level and the institutional level, to really put these different modes of attention and transmission into contact.”
The opera, Origin of the Alimonies, collides metal, classical, and electronic music, in a meditation on the origin of all things. It follows OIOION and SHEYMN, a pair of divine beings whose thwarted love tears a wound from which civilization is generated, producing the Four Alimonies of the intelligible universe and the task of collective emancipation.
Both “God of Love” and “Apparition Of The Eternal Church” exhibit the deeply satisfying evolution of the Liturgy sound – heavy & heavily orchestrated, with the two tracks simultaneously acting as polar opposites – “God of Love” serving as the crystallisation of many elements found on their groundbreaking 2011 sophomore album Aesthethica, while “Apparition Of The Eternal Church” finds Hunter Hunt-Hendrix and Liturgy pushing further into experimental territory, blurring the boundary between metal and classical music. This duality marks the formal return of Liturgy founder Hunt-Hendrix’s “transcendental black metal” band which the New York Times praised as “hungry for other musical languages, devouring them and putting them to work.”
“Apparition Of The Eternal Church” from the upcoming full-length Origin of the Alimonies opera soundtrack is available as a single HERE.
“God of Love” from the upcoming full-length HAQQ is available as a single HERE.
More on Liturgy and Hunter Hunt-Hendrix:
Liturgy are a Brooklyn-based quartet whose yearning, energetic “transcendental black metal” exists in the space between metal, avant-rock and sacred ritual. Celebrated for live performances that combine emotional chaos with technical precision, they have toured internationally and performed at major music festivals and art institutions around the world, including Pitchfork Festival, Primavera Sound, Big Ears, Greene Naftali, Museum of Modern Art, and Unsound.
Liturgy’s current lineup features Hunter Hunt-Hendrix (vocals, guitar), Bernard Gann (guitar), Tia Vincent-Clark (bass) and Leo Didkovsky (drums).The band was founded in the context of Brooklyn DIY as a high-concept solo project by Hunter Hunt-Hendrix in 2005 while he was studying philosophy and classical composition at Columbia. After expanding to a quartet they made waves globally for introducing the style of Scandinavian black metal into the world of experimental art rock with 2011’s Aesthethica. Their ambitious 2015 album The Ark Work was controversial for its incorporation of IDM and trap production into their musical language. In fall 2018 the group debuted Hunt-Hendrix’s metaphysical opera Origin of the Alimonies in New York as a live score with a chamber ensemble.