[Albums] The Body & Krieg – Self titled

After an EP followed by an album in collaboration with Thou, another with The Haxan Cloak, their upcoming collaboration with Full of Hell and a new full length that is essentially a collaboration with many different musicians, The Body are circumventing unwritten rules in heavy music by going down the same road as SunnO))) and crafting their career in the same spirit as Jazz musicians who had a band but constantly crossed path with like-minded spirits and recorded albums together.

Like SunnO))), some of the defining traits of their sound can be recognized in every albums: the breathless screams, the grinding tone of the guitar, the suffocating heaviness. From these three albums, they have been able to craft albums that felt like being strangled passionately. An acquired taste that many would frown upon but bring a physicality to the massive wall of noise that they create, both in the studio and live on stage.

On this collaboration with Krieg, now limited to its sole member Neill Jameson, the trio brings their music to a more industrial edge while still retaining the familiar abrasiveness that The Body is known for. Mechanical beats and noises don’t have to struggle to find some common ground with the distortion dripping from every pore of the duo’s instruments. The slow syncopated rhythm at the end of Carved out and caved in or Fracture echoes the experimentation of Blut Aus Nord circa The work which transforms god, doubled with a more feral aggression, or Techno Animal without any rapping.

Despite the fact that The Body is labeled as a « sludge » band and Krieg is a « black metal musicians », none of these labels truly define what has been recorded here (Celebrate your shame). Rather, the two are fused together to create common ground in a wasteland made of noise and beats. Instruments are recognizable but they are being brought to their most primitive use to push the boundaries of what drums, a drum machine, a guitar, a bass and two pairs of shredded vocals chords can produce. Never worth your name also demonstrates splendidly that the weigh of the music does not come from the distortion but the emotional impact of the compositions. By stripping down their sound to a haunting melody, the trio throws the most powerful punch they can and let it fade-away without adding much to the composition. In comparison, the following track, Gallows, seems uninspired but the beeping sound behind A failure worth killing yourself shows that the album is far from finished by creating more minimalist aggression without many rock instruments. The final nail concludes the album with a post punk touch played at the same level as the loudest material on this album, again offering another side to this collaboration.

As a whole, this collaboration gives the impression that the musicians could have recorded different projects together and explored several avenues but that since they did not want to choose they ended up going in several directions. Therefore, I left this album with the impression that there was some unfinished business that would need to find a resolution on a later album.

As it is, this album is still an impressive collection of songs, with some better (Carved out and caved in, Never worth your name, The final nail) than others (Bottom of the bottle, bottom of the river, Gallows) but they still form a coherent picture drawn by two distincts entities who seem to have much more to tell each other.

The Body & Krieg is available on CD and LP via At a Loss Recordings

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