Though doom metal has come to be associated with punishing, high-decibel amp worship, its roots lie more in the feeling it evokes than any sound. It instills the listener with a sense of dread and despair, finding our deepest and most primal fears and jabbing at them until there's nothing left to do but relent and be crushed by the music's glacial heaviness. With I Shall Die Here, experimental doom duo the Body explore the genre with a whole new tool set, pulling together sounds from the noise world to create an album of dark, panic-inducing sonic madness. Working with Bobby Krlic, who is better known by his recording moniker the Haxan Cloak, the Body combine their penchant for aural punishment with Krlic's keen ear for melancholic atmospherics, creating a series of compositions that surround, and ultimately trap, the listener within their bleak, droning confines. Because of this suffocating, inescapable quality, I Shall Die Here is an album that isn't so much challenging as terrifying, making for a listening experience (and it is most certainly an experience) that requires more nerve than patience. The listener doesn't explore the album's frenzied sense of existential dread, they test themselves against it, standing alone against the inevitable to see how close to the edge they can come without falling into the crushing nothingness the Body wield with all the elegance of a rusty sledgehammer. And while words like "fun" or "entertaining" aren't likely to ever be used to describe I Shall Die Here, those with the fortitude to endure its savagery and stare into the abyss will definitely know what they're made of.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney