How much hatred can be produced within 48 hours? That is how long it took apocalyptic sludge outfit The Body and the main man of black metal sonic force Krieg, Neil Jameson, to record their collaboration. The Body are not new to the field of collaborative albums, which includes works with Braveyoung, Vampillia and Thou. However, there is something much more abrupt and disturbing this time around, as they join Krieg.
Even though sonically these two acts are falling on different regions of the extreme metal spectrum, they do have one thing in common: a completely bleak, nihilistic world-view. That is what drives this collaboration beyond the mere regions of the respective genres and into more adventurous territories. Industrial concepts are explored, even verging on power electronics, while a very high dose of noise is applied. However, that does not mean that they are leaving all of their legacy behind.
The sludge identity of The Body is revealed in a few key moments in the album, granting more weight and groove. “Carved Out and Carved In” features their blackened sludge perspective, through an industrial point of view, resulting in punishing moments as the drums create craters on the soundscapes and the guitars pummel down. “Gallows” is a similar instance of industrial doom, with the heavy guitars becoming overwhelming with their sludge dirt. The most obvious doom/sludge moment though comes forth in the final track of the album, suitably named “The Final Nail,” as it takes an imposing manifestation and a straightforward groove.
On the other end there is the black metal of Krieg which raises its ugly heady occasionally through the noise barrage. The opening track features a blackened induced feeling, with the underlying parts also pointing towards this direction, while “Celebrate Your Shame” also verges on black metal in its more ferocious form, as the relentless riffing grants the track more energy. It is that eerie quality that aids the destructive path of this album as is featured by hybrid black/doom moments such as “Fracture” and its further elevation into a ghostly blackened opus.
But all that is not the sole focus of The Body & Krieg. The two acts here are defiant (as they should be) on the idea of being pigeon-holed and they are throwing so many different elements into their concepts, making the record quite hard to decipher. The main driving force however can be easily identified in the noise influence of the album. “Bottom of the Bottle, Bottom of the River” is really not shy from the very start, with the effects piercing your eardrums as they sweep around the frequency range. There are times when the background noise is kept at bay, for example in “Carved Out and Carved In,” while in other instances it results in a fuzz mayhem, as is the case with “Fracture.” What is quite impressive is when these guys take on a more minimal outlook, with the noise still present but kept under some control. “Carved Out and Carved In” features an ocean of noise with only the vocals, grotesquely distorted, remaining alongside it. It is a similar case with “Never Worth Your Name” as the band uses its minimalistic introduction to aid the transition into annihilation. Similarly, the mysterious tone of the stripped down parts in “The Final Nail” act as a great switch from the doom devastation, and a very nice ending for the album.
The patterns that this collaboration follows are completely cold and detached. At times even noise is used to craft the rhythm, as is the case with “A Failure Worth Killing Yourself” as the different elements, in turn, are being unleashed. However, it is the industrial approach that takes the lead in terms of the pace that these two acts explore. The repetitive patterns are a big part of the sound, resulting in heavy beats that echo throughout eternity, as is the case with “Celebrate Your Shame.” The mechanical vibe is also very strong, appearing usually with a distorted infusion alongside it, as is the case with the opening track, “Carved Out and Carved In” and “Gallows.” These guys are even pushing further, with an obvious example being “A Failure Worth Killing Yourself” that trespasses into the territory of electronic music, with the mysterious vibe and the not as dense background acting like a nice change of pace.
What all this adds up to ease a dark, dystopian album. The outlook of both acts is preserved through the catastrophic path that they follow. Razor-sharp sounds, imposing moments of grandeur, bleak ambiances, the doom weight and blackened eerie quality, all find their place in this collaboration.
7.9 / 10
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