If you’re lurking within the depths of experimental music, it won’t take long
before you’re enclosed in complete darkness. The end of a cavern, seemingly leading
nowhere — but it’s far from being a dead end: it’s where those with heavy souls are
tunneling out new passages into the abyss of strange and eerie sounds.
Since the early 2000s, The Body and Thou are two groups pushing barriers and
redefining heavy music. These masters of sludge metal are lords of darkness, both
within the nature of their sounds and their lyrical composition. They are powerful
forces alone but together their sound is like nothing heard before. Last year, The Body
and Thou came together again for You, Whom I Have Always Hated.
The first minute of the album sets the tone for the rest. It begins with a slow
repetition of a churning feedback and drums pounding then a howling scream and bass
that so low you shiver. The next track, The Devils of Trust Steal the Souls of the Free,
sounds like the sky is falling down on you. King’s extremely high pitched vocals, paired
with Funck’s raspy screams make for an powerful match up on the chorus. Perhaps the
best track on the album is the brilliant cover of Nine Inch Nail’s Terrible Lie. The
incorporation of tribal drumming and screeching distorted feedback make it as heavy as
possible. The final track Lurking Fear features some dark choral-like vocals that bring the
title of the song to a frightening reality.
While a split album has two bands playing each other’s or their own songs on
one release it’s less common to see two bands become a singular entity for an album.
Without a doubt, both bands can be picked out, as each has its own signature sounds,
but the fullness of these tracks makes it sound like they’ve been practicing together for
Over the course of the album, The Body and Thou remind us that the world can
be cruel and cold. Life is understood from a fresh perspective when one considers death
in such a way as these bands do. The back of the album is a man holding a wide open-
eyed dead girl and the lyric sheet has a crowd around an open grave full of flowers. The
music seems the same. Haunting and deep is the hole we must follow them down.
Albums like this are truly one of a kind. There is passion and ingenuity that
flows from these artists and the collaboration of the bands is blazing trails into
uncharted territory. “While the groups have different approaches to live performance
and stylistic nuances, they share general creative ideas and have a history subsumed in
themes of alienation, melancholy, and despair. They describe the new collaboration as
‘a twilight dungeon crawl exploring the winding, ruined halls of Mad King Duro’s
Castle, best friends at your side, enemies crushed beneath your heels, mysteries solved,
and treasures found (from a description on thrilljockey.com).’”