The Body

Christs, Redeemers

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With over a decade of punishing sounds under their belt, it makes sense that experimental noise/sludge/doom metal duo the Body would want to stretch the limits of their sound on Christs, Redeemers, one of few proper full-lengths in their enormous, often EP-focused discography. Surpassing the smoky Sabbath worship of stoner metal and far too ambitious to fall into the snail-paced drudgery of run-of-the-mill sludge metal, the Body embrace their various extremes over the course of these ten songs, beginning with "I, the Mourner of Perished Days." The short introductory song builds a burning wall of indistinguishable noise from vocal samples and rattling metal before a witchy female vocal comes in, offering dark lyrics of being set free by the end of life's suffering. The vocals are swallowed whole by the din of noise by the song's end, and thus begins the album's journey. The following track, "To Attempt Openness," marries Chip King's muffled, ugly guitar tones to an eerie choir of haunted voices and buzzing sampled noise as Lee Buford's powerful, metered drumming pushes the song into being. Suggesting high-pitched pterodactyl screams, King's vocals are buried under overdriven drum overdubs and patches of electronic noise not unlike power violence heroes Man Is the Bastard. Again, the song is completely swallowed up by itself, its seven minutes disintegrating from ghostly beauty to a complete meltdown of garbled demonic samples and terrified oblivion. "An Altar or a Grave" sees the Body's gruesome guitar tones and wearying drums joined by gorgeous string arrangements and more accompaniment from the Assembly of Light Choir. In the hands of another band, these mismatched elements would come off as an odd juxtaposition at best, but somehow the feeling of torment and evil rides high in both the hard and the soft throughout the album. The Body aren't afraid to take the production as far as humanly possible in either direction, with tracks like "Shrouded" and the horrifying "Bearer of Bad Tidings" submerged in unpleasant static and surges of noise for their entire duration, while "Night of Blood in a World Without End" achieves similarly horrific results with just viola, violin, bass tones, and spare vocals. The experience of listening to the album is a harrowing one, but the bevy of unexpected shifts, sidesteps, and complete submission into patches of noise makes it one of the more adventurous metal records of its type, and speaks to the long-fought amounts of work and thought the Body have put into their ever brutal, ever forward-looking sound.

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