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Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Body - All The Waters of The Earth Shall Turn to Blood

The Slower Avant-Guard.

The Body is a sludge metal duo from Rhode Island. Taking bits of other more "creative" genres and mixing them together is what really makes this album different. If you're expecting something like Neurosis or old Mastodon, take a step back and prepare for things to get a little weird.
This record begins how few, if any, would expect it do. This will not blow you away with lots of distortion and powerful bass, instead, the opener, A Body, begins the album with about 7 minutes of a female choir chanting. This is irregular for almost any record to begin this way, unless it was a record of for a female choir, but it starts this album off on a very odd and left-field note. Once the 7 minute mark is reached a high pitched drone enters and begins to drown out the choir. The duo then begin to play the typical sludge/doom riff with their screaming vocals, in these final two minutes of the first track, a lone female singer will be heard, as well as some more orchestral like noises in the background of the band playing.
This record is really avant-garde sounding compared to any other sludge that I've heard. The use of a lot of different sounds, from the female choir of the first track to use of hip-hop, glitch, ambient, as well as others. One of the strangest things was the chanting used in Empty Hearth, which has a droning throat sound behind the chant, and glitches breaking the chants up. It can be a challenge to even put a label on this to try and define it due to all the left-field additions within this record.
When the duo do decide to make a song that is, for the most part, a regular doom/sludge track, it's a little bit more rugged and dark. These tracks don't really go forth with crusty vibe, seeming to have more in common with the darker ends of funeral doom or drone, listen to the epic closer Lathspell I Name You. The vocals add a bit of black metal flair to the track due to the shrieking nature of them. The drums on the other hand are really the only thing that brings the punk nature to the music, keeping things very hard hitting and doing fills every so often, really adding another color to the songs.
Overall, this is a very odd album, and at times is hard to even call metal. If you're into very strange, and certainly original, music than I would recommend you check this out. Not an easy record, but if you want something that is very engaging and demanding of the listener, this is for you. This is one odd ball of a record.
Overall Score: 7
Highlights: Even The Saints Knew Their Hour of Failure and Loss, Ruiner

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