on Sunday 20 April 2014
"There's heaviness. There's brutality. Then there's The Body." - Metal Sucks
It has been said by more than a few intrepid listeners that The Body is the most brutal band on the planet. With ravishing grimness and impenetrable walls of noise, the duo of Chip King and Lee Buford create music that goes beyond what is normally considered harsh and violent, advocating a doctrine of misanthropy to those brave enough to take the plunge. Since their recording career began in earnest in 2004, The Body has expanded the definition of what it means to be a metal band, incorporating elements of noise, avant-garde composition, and experimental electronic music into their crushing doom and searing black metal foundation. Christs, Redeemers, the duo's latest transmission of loathing and revulsion, finds King and Buford pushing even further into the horrifying unknown.
Christs, Redeemers conjures this atmosphere of foreboding and isolation sonically, lyrically, and visually. The album opens with washes of sound and one forlorn voice penetrating the ether before launching into the brutal, ghostly dirge of "To Attempt Openness," featuring frequent collaborators the Assembly of Light Choir. Unexpected bursts of noise, generated by guitars and electronics, puncture any sense of comfort or complacency and eerie samples float from the ether. King and Buford masterfully use the spectral space between the sounds to create almost unimaginable tension, employing silence as effectively as they do cacophony. This restraint, the knowledge of when to punish with volume and when to punish with the absence thereof, bestows the moments of fury with gravity.
King's screams are the centerpiece of the band's aesthetic: panic-stricken and distraught, constantly on the verge of breaking. His lyrics are no less unhinged. On the album's colossal closer "Bearer of Bad Tidings," he shrieks "Life worthless and devoid of any meaning...all the world a grave." Buford's drums act as both a stabilizer and instigator of the madness, at times pushing the proceedings further into oblivion and others providing a lifeline for the listener as the guitars and electronics deliberately push you toward the brink.
The album was recorded at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, RI, where The Body has recorded all previous album releases. During the recording process King and Buford play the double role of players and auteurs, bringing in a diverse group of collaborators, from the aformentioned Assembly of Light Choir to noise musician Work/Death and Ryan Seaton of Callers, to realize their hell scapes. They will be touring the US extensively in the fall.