Liturgy @ The Opera House, Toronto ON, 19 June 2015


“Are you ready for some transcendental black metal?” asked a friend I ran into, while prepping my camera, as the lights went down on a Friday night in Toronto. That was all the preparation I had for the set, as apparently I have been living under a rock for the past two or three years and have not witnessed any of the storm of reactions around this Liturgy band from Brooklyn.

Going into things completely unaware like that is often a great pleasure of mine, as being surprised by the quality of a great act all of a sudden is a feeling that’s so good it’s difficult to describe. I was happy to hear the word “transcendental” used, because then I expected to hear the quality I’ve been hearing from certain bands out of the deep hearts of places like Ukraine, Romania, and the Czech Republic, who have for years been producing absolutely stunning material.

As Liturgy harnesses this magic, they take the dark brooding swamp of black metal and drain just the right amount of murky infected evil off of it, leaving a fertile base for all sorts of other elements to flourish. Bells, uptempo synths, clean crooning vocals, downright dance-ability – sounds like these can absolutely amplify the power of black metal when used correctly. They can also completely destroy the sound, leaving people totally confused and alienated, if abused. Luckily in this case, Liturgy knew how to handle it.

The visual evidence:


For an audio sample here is a ridiculously addictive track which I’ve been playing almost on repeat. Triplets, triplets triplets:


Contributor of photos and plenty of rambling - also on Instagram & Youtube @riffsdontlie