Shrines album cover

Armand Hammer

Backwoodz Studioz

Steel sharpens steel as Elucid and billy woods, deep-focus rappers in their own headlining gigs, turn their voices into tandem weapons that make even the smoothest soul beats (“Solarium”; “Ramses II”) sound like portentous signs of flash-flood storms. That’s to say nothing of what they sound like over the majority of the album’s more abrasive and tense-sounding productions; this a world of wildlife seeking freedom after being misguidedly sequestered in cramped apartments, poetic elaborations on abstractions that barely conceal the brutal reality of everyday disillusionment.

Nate Patrin

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