"All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Being weird can be a great thing, especially in a conformist music scene. Being weird for weird's sake is something else. The Body, hailing from that musical hotbed for mavericks, Providence, Rhode Island, push things as close to the edge of the abyss as they can. Do they tip over and fall into the chasm of overdone, hipster-style absurdity? It depends on my mood, but a lot of this strikes me as pretty tongue in cheek.

Take a look at the cover...a black and white photo of what look like samurai with garbage bags on their heads. Ponder the meaning,mmmm, ponder the meaning... Elsewhere, the music of The Body I would describe as crushing low-fi doomy noise mixed with strange elements. The beautiful accapella chanting by the all-female Assembly of Light Choir that starts "A Body" is haunting...but do we need eight straight minutes of it before the sludgy doom comes in to get the point? I don't think so. On the other hand, the weird auctioneer-style babble that begins "Empty Hearth" is curiously sounds like a cross between The Blues Brothers' "Rubber Biscuit" and the jibber-jabber on Ministry's "Jesus Built My Hot Rod".

I find the womanly shrieking that passes for vocals here to be annoying rather than frightening and it detracts from the over-all sound. A little is OK...a whole album's worth taxes the patience of all but the most ardent masochist. Yet if you're a fan of stuff like Sunn 0))), Noothgrush, Trees and the like, you'll welcome The Body's punishing low-frequency wall of bass. The monolithic final track "Lathspell, I Name You" (somebody's been reading their Tolkien, I see) is an agonizing crawl through a minefield of sludge, feedback and pummeling drums.

A little bit overdone to appeal much outside of an insular base of noise-worshipping hipsters. I am reminded of Dr. McCoy's outburst in "Return of the Archons": "Traitors! You are NOT of The Body! Traitors!"