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The Body - I’ve Seen All I Need to See Music Album Reviews

The Body - I’ve Seen All I Need to See Music Album Reviews
With a concussive sound and a deceptively lean setup, the doom duo returns to terrifying basics on a macabre and strangely exhilarating album about anguish.

The doom-metal duo the Body have rarely been only those things. Sure, for the past decade, guitarist Chip King and drummer Lee Buford have practically oozed plangent distortion and martial rhythms, doom criteria as conclusive as any. Glance, though, beneath their hostile surface or inside their loaded rests, where they stuff eerie choirs and corrosive electronics, grinding samples and unnerving jump cuts. This is doom as mutilated by Merzbow, then reassembled into a beast so uncanny it makes Eyehategod sound like modern rock. King and Buford are ardent collaborators, too, as much a symptom of their stylistic catholicism as its cause. They’ve made albums with belligerent grinders Full of Hell, sludge punks Thou, and shadowy producer the Haxan Cloak, then turned their catalog over to artists like Moor Mother. For King and Buford, the Body is a post-everything permission slip.
King and Buford put that restlessness on temporary hold for I’ve Seen All I Need to See, their first album as a pair in three years. It is a harrowing meditation on death and despondence, ruthlessly delivered by the Body’s core duo. A few old friends show up to add jagged piano here, robotic narration there. But it’s mostly King’s low-strung guitar, so massive and mean it conjures an army of bassists frying amplifiers, and his high-strung voice, as piercing as the melting Wicked Witch. Buford is an indomitable powerhouse, swiping at his drums as though his sticks were battering rams. The results are harsh but exhilarating, loud enough to make you worry about your speakers and anguished enough to make you worry about your sanity.

I’ve Seen All I Need to See begins like a short horror film. A stoic reading of Douglas Dunn’s “The Kaleidoscope”—written after the early death of the Scottish poet’s wife, Lesley, in 1981—unspools beneath curdled chords and foreboding drum knocks. Dunn’s poem is about the Groundhog Day-like torture of wanting to care for someone who is no longer there, of being forced to relive their death daily. The Body spend the next 37 minutes considering this grim scene from every angle, from the loneliness of the end to the dour acceptance of the living.

Still, the sounds hurt more than their underpinnings. During “The City Is Shelled,” the Body quake like a once-mighty band trying to fight through actual rubble. For almost four minutes, “The Handle/The Blade” rumbles beneath a bed of ricocheting noise, like the soundtrack to chronic pain. It’s almost impossible to decipher King’s words; the music makes it unnecessary.

These two-piece blasts are not some nativist retreat, as if King and Buford were out to prove the Body remain unchanged. Instead, they weave a decade of collaborative lessons into these songs. Opener “A Lament” uses the dramatic hip-hop cuts they’ve embraced (and sometimes overindulged) just enough to make you uneasy. The triumphant lift at song’s end, meanwhile, recalls Thou, who often offer a glimmer of relief just to revel in pulling it away. During the finale, “Path of Failure,” they lurch into a skittering instrumental section that suggests the Mahavishnu Orchestra abandoning its spirituality. This small format forces King and Buford to fold their strangest impulses into their most basic setup, meaning I’ve Seen All I Need to See gets more intense the more you listen.

There’s another reason it’s never seemed correct to call the Body a duo: For a decade, Buford and King have worked largely with one producer—Seth Manchester, at Rhode Island’s Machines with Magnets. He’s steadily learned to harness the Body’s high-volume spectral madness, becoming a de facto member. For I’ve Seen All I Need to See, he manages dual tricks that seem paradoxical. The Body sound live here, with crackling distortion and concussive tones imitating the middle-ear torment you feel when they’ve loaded into a club. “Tied Up and Locked In” thunders and shivers, as if the loudest band in the world were in town and you were grabbing pizza next door. Yet these recordings have such texture and depth they resemble topographic maps, perfectly preserving every peak, valley, and crevice. Never mind the shrieking—the back half of “They Are Coming” is almost delicate, the drones and drums moving in a mad waltz. The Body often seem like a mess on the surface; perhaps for the first time, Manchester has managed to capture the control they lord over this supposed chaos, the sophistication among these mangled layers.

Arriving at a moment when staggering death tolls come with the morning news, these eight diatribes plunge you into a pit of despair and demand that you take in the inevitability of our end. Can you muster a musical idea bleaker than a man howling, “The screaming of children/The fog of smoldering” like a stuck pig while he and his buddy maul your speakers? But this music is so bluntly fatalistic—in idea and execution—that it feels life-affirming to experience, as cleansing as scalding water. The Body have embraced that sensation since finding it on their 2010 breakthrough, All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood. On I’ve Seen All I Need to See, it is mercilessly distilled and efficient, reminding us there’s no time to waste.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
The Body - I’ve Seen All I Need to See Music Album Reviews The Body - I’ve Seen All I Need to See Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 Rating: 5

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