The Body - I Shall Die Here - RVNG Intl


The Body - I Shall Die Here - RVNG Intl - Review

The Body is one of those American high school bands that start in a garage and thrive, little by little, till making a name for themselves and touring around the world. After their remarkable 2013 “Christ, Redeemers”, this sludge metal duo released a superb album entitled “I Shall Die Here” in 2014. For the first time, Chip King and Lee Buford have teamed up with Bobby Krlic, aka The Haxan Cloak — who is a metal fan himself —, and the outcome cannot be better. Put out by RVNG Intl, this six-track LP represents an unquestionably step forward in The Body’s career.

Sometimes there is a very fine line between certain kinds of metal and the darkest branches of electronic music. Maybe doom and sludge do not share many things in common regarding the composition, but these genres do have loads in common with drone or even noise in terms of expressiveness. Undoubtedly, this collaboration is not a drop in the ocean, just check Vainio and O’Malley’s ÄÄNIPÄÄ or Godflesh’s Justin K. Broadrick’s works, to name a couple. “I Shall Die Here” combines perfectly The Body’s and Krlic’s respective offerings. All the tracks maintain of course the usual harshness and abrasiveness of the Americans but incorporating this time the profoundness of the British. In fact the latter’s production/reconstruction effort is certainly of the highest level, and provides the doom metal sound with an interesting variety of evocative arrangements, drone layers and subtle effects. Also, the use of silence plays a key role here. For instance, “To Carry the Seeds of Death Within Me” creates a terrifying soundscape by merging its low pace aggressiveness with suggestive stillness, and incorporating the electricity on Krlic’s “Excavations”. The elliptical repetition of fat slow-pace rhythms, disturbing voice samples and the echoes of experimentalism become evident also in “Alone All the Way” or “The Night Knows No Dawn”. Similarly, the combination of noise and sludge boosts imagination and suggestion, generating misty landscapes as in “Hail to Thee, Everlasting Pain”. On this track, maybe the most manifestly electronic per se together with “Our Souls Were Clean”, violence gets even more intense, forcing listeners to dive into a myriad of obscure textures, mixing ritualistic beats with hyper-distorted guitars.

All in all, “I Shall Die Here” is deservedly seen as one of the most inspiring and eclectic LPs of 2014. The evocative brutality behind its composition manages to paint a dystopian picture and sculpt a truly killer work. The typical screamed vocals, distortion and heavy slow pace rhythms of the Rhode Island duo on the one hand, and Krlic’s one-of-a-kind interpretation on the other, make this album a massive one, transforming The Body’s dark offering into an even more hypnotic sonic journey. Take a listen, let yourself go and feel its psychoactive visceral sound.


Sample Tracks

Links: Website

About Author

Armando Valdés, the man behind Secret Thirteen album reviews, is a translator, music journalist and a member of noise-ambient + spoken word band “Granny On Donkey”.

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