Listening to Renihilation, the 2009 release from NY black metal band Liturgy, is similar to the very first moment after you've jumped into a freezing lake: the nerves in every inch of your body are screaming at you, your lungs have contracted from the shock and cold, and you feel as though you are being suffocated. The album opens with Gregorian chanting in "Untitled", the first of four such quasi-ambient interludes on the album- without the strategic placing of these, I suspect I would pass out from the blood rushing to my head. From the first notes of the next track, "Pagan Dawn", the pace is set for the rest of the tracks on the album: unrelenting, pummeling, frantic, overwhelming black metal that seemingly defies the laws of entropy that starts out at maximum intensity and yet inexplicably intensifies with every second. This is, however, not the same type of relentless energy summoned by darker, more misanthropic BM artists such as Anaal Nathrakh or 1349. Instead, it is more melodic and mournful, akin to the sound of contemporaries Krallice and Wolves in the Throne Room. Or for a non-black metal reference, recall the most epic, explosive moments of Godspeed! You Black Emperor or Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky, stripped of of the build-up and held in that moment when your limbs feel electric and you want to literally, physically explode. It isn't simply the pace at which the drums and guitars are played (faster than the speed of light, if you are curious); the production, too, adds to the all-encompassing sound of this album. This isn't a tinny, lo-fi BM album; the production is clean and expansive. Yet every inch of that expanse is full of sound, everything maxed out, everything happening at once. It seems as though, while this album plays, the only physical space that exists is that between your speakers and yourself. If you are a fan of BM, check this album out. Take a deep breath first.