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Body, The / Thou: Released from Love

This isn't a split so much as it's a collaborative recording from two bands. I haven't seen many such releases lately, but I like the general idea behind them. When done right, collaborations can draw on the best of both bands and create something new and exciting.

Unfortunately, I don't know either of these bands very well. For those readers like me, here's some basic information—both bands are steeped in noise, but Thou mixes it with doom and sludge whereas The Body also reaches into what they call their "apocalyptic / experimental doom cult." I'm not sure what apocalyptic music actually sounds like, but I'm giving myself permission to repeat that term later in my review.

The music here is three parts new creations and one part cover tune. The new creations are harsh and—here goes—apocalyptic. I'm still not sure what that means, but I guess it has something to do with hopelessness, a kind of underlying despair, that stays constant from beginning to end. I thought the first three tracks were pretty good, but can't say that there was a standout favorite among them. I kind of liked "Manifest Alchemy," but that could be because the name is cool.

The track to hear on this release, though, is the cover of Vic Chesnutt's "Coward." Already a painful and haunting tune, The Body and Thou make it nearly unbearable. After hearing their version of it, I would never want to be called a coward, especially by anyone who has heard this track. The lyrics, in the first part anyway, are screamed in the background, a pained wail that I will not soon forget. This is nothing less than an authentic display of absolute emotional despair; if anything, this song is one of a deeply damaged soul, one who knows his cowardice was costly. Chesnutt's own recording of this song was harsh enough, but this escalates it to the point that cowardice is now a form of complete damnation.

Track Listing:
1. The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills
2. Manifest Alchemy
3. In Meetings Hearts Beat Closer
4. Coward (Vic Chesnutt)

Added: May 1st 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1031
Language: english

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