Review : Jucifer - Throned in Blood
PopmattersIn a live setting, Jucifer is one of the most imposing bands youíll ever witness, visually and sonically. Playing in front of a rather incredible wall of more than two dozen amplifiers, the husband and wife duo of drummer Edgar Livengood and vocalist/guitarist Gazelle Amber Valentine hammers out music that is unbelievably primal. Valentine unleashes her hyper-amplified riffs that start off sounding like doom metal, veer into crust punk and grindcore, then suddenly shift to sludge and even drone, those guttural chords so loud and so enveloping it feels like the room has shrunk to half the size. Meanwhile, Livengood thrashes away at his drum kit with a force that is mind-boggling, managing to match his wifeís intensity step for step. This is rock, metal, punk, whatever you want to call it, at its most cathartic, and the self-described nomads have built a very strong live reputation over the years, traveling constantly in their motor home across North America and Europe, playing to whoever will have them, no matter if there are a couple hundred people or a couple dozen.
On record, though, itís a totally different story. While Valentine and Livengood stick to a rather straightforward template onstage, theyíve taken advantage of their studio time to explore sounds they wouldnít normally try live, such as folk, Southern rock, densely layered shoegaze, Stooges-style garage rock, touches of space rock, and plenty of moments for Valentine to explore her sultrier, feminine side. Because of those diverse musical interests, their past albums have consequently made for some very enjoyable listening, audiences never knowing what stylistic change is lurking around the corner. The bandís partnership with Relapse Records yielded the strongest, most eclectic work of their career, starting with 2006ís solid If Thine Enemy Hunger and peaking with the ambitious LíAutrichienne in 2008, a sprawling, 21-song concept album about Marie Antoinette that madly changed styles with each song. Unfortunately, that fine album didnít get the biggest promotional push by the label, the relationship soured, and Jucifer decided to strike out on their own, creating their own imprint in Nomadic Fortress, and releasing their fifth album on their own terms....full text
ProllyisnotprobablyHoly fuck. Sludgy metal from a couple who lives in an RV and recorded their album in the woods of Pennsylvania in a creepy-ass mansion. Does this get anymore quaint? Donít let this description fool you into thinking this is some folky artsy fartsy experimental project. Jucifer is world renown in metal circles for harnessing some pretty compelling live shows. Armed with a drum kit and a guitar, the duo wretches from deep within to produce some of the most captivating performances ever. Up until now, this hasnít been conveyed in their albums, something that the band focused heavily upon for their newest studio release entitled Throned in Blood. Through various historical references, the album dwells on the atrocities of war....full text
MetalundergroundA live Jucifer show has an intensity unlike anything else in music today. With amps stacked to the sky, Gazelle Amber Valentine and Edgar Livengood create blissful noise using only throat-ripping screams, a guitar and a drum kit. Itís loud and unsettling, the type of music that will leave many scratching their heads at its supposed artistic value. The thing is, even in its most primal moments, there is a certain charm to Juciferís sound that leaves a listener awe-struck at its sheer power.
Throughout the years, the bandís studio albums have been a far cry from the chaos emitted in a live setting. The raw aggression was kept mostly in check, replaced by lush melodies and tender female vocals. 2008ís ďL'autrichienneĒ was a sprawling concept album that had some of the bandís best songs to date; however, at 70 minutes long, the album lost focus near the end and puttered to a mediocre conclusion. That is far from the case with ďThroned In Blood.Ē On Juciferís seventh studio album, the band accurately recreates their adrenaline-soaked live show in a studio environment....full text
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