Locrian's apparently nonstop way around strong releases continues with The Clearing, a short but strong four-song effort. Opening track "Chalk Point" is almost a classic '80s goth number in many ways, shadowy washes of sound, muffled bells, and a guitar line that's ominous and theatrical with just a bit of Hammer horror over the topness at the same time. But with the sudden arrival of a majestic guitar arc and big slow drums, everything turns just a little more 21st century, slow moaning vocals a perfect addition. "Augury in an Evaporating Tower" plays more immediately with black metal tropes of rasped vocals but unwinds into something that's less evaporating than collapsing, a blend of feedback layers, stop-start drums, and above all else an intertwined combination of tones that feel like afterechoes of an explosion. "Coprolite" might be one of the gentlest songs ever written about fossilized dung, but whatever the motivations, the combination of steadily strummed acoustic guitar and buried feedback crunch and zone, while not a new one, gives Locrian another chance to play around with tropes; the resultant feeling of almost romantic flow is wonderful. The title track closes the album at 17 minutes of appropriate moody crawls, a blend of distant feedback, steady but rising and falling bass pulses, long electronic moans, and, even further in the back of the mix, ungodly rasped howls in the finest of black metal anguished tradition. Again, it's less about innovation than what they do with the style, but they do it so very well.
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett