Music Reviews
The Body

The Body

All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood

At a Loss Recordings

From looking at recent (and hitherto rare) photographic evidence, sludge-noise duo The Body are either nightmarish Kurosawa-esque armored and masked death samurais or heavily bearded and tattooed Lee Harvey Oswald types, brandishing binoculars and shotguns with sinister intent. What these photographs do not tell you (do they ever, really?) is that with All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood, The Body have seemingly reconceptualized their sound and made one of the most adventurous extreme metal albums of 2010. I’m completely fucking serious here, All the Waters… is a gamechanger for doom/sludge metal in the same way that SunnO)))’s elegiac Monoliths and Dimensions was.

This album is bursting with new ideas and creativity, right out the gate with the stunning “A Body.” It’s a collaboration with the Assembly of Light Choir, a bone-chilling collage of chorale, pastoral beauty, and cold industrial doom. “A Curse” just fucking sizzles and sparks with the nightmare intensity of Godflesh’s Streetcleaner, booming, fucking loud mechanical drums, roaring, heavily distorted guitar/bass thudding, and vocals providing a human x-factor in an otherwise tightly wound coil – a high-pitched ulcerated scream owing more to black metal’s occult panic than doom’s gritty roar, it’s all about loss of control and urgent despair. “Empty Hearth” just continues to awe – built around a sped-up manipulated vocal sample that sounds like a horde of insects, the track then becomes a stuttering, start-stop mashup of noise, grindcore, devotional music, and industrial. Amazing stuff. The Assembly of Light Choir returns on “Even the Saints Knew Their Hour of Failure and Loss” clashing with King’s harrowing vocals, and all nearly drowned out by cavernous, martial drums. “Lathspell I Name You” incorporates a pounding, thudding, harsh doom groove with chamber music and more choral vocals (acting as a Greek conscience?). It’s strangely beautiful and impenetrable for a full thirteen minutes.

This here is the new thing.

At a Loss:

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