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Body Void: Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth

We’re starting to reach the point where bands are releasing their COVID albums. I’m talking about music that was either written or recorded during the tumultuous months that made 2020 what it was. This album was recorded in June 2020, a time when the United States was still in a pattern of political drama, social uncertainty, and fears about the future. Needless to say, the music here is restless, angry, and dark. It is also somewhat hopeful.

Even though this album is partly about 2020, it also has a broader interest in environmental problems, particularly the ways human actions contribute to the problem. Connected to that is the simple, but important, point that we are all connected to the earth. We live here; we’ll die here; we’ll be buried here. For Body Void, that ongoing connection suggests a need to both recognize the problem and to start doing something about it here and now.

Musically, the album is sludgy, dark, and raw. The band effectively blends elements of doom, sludge, and drone in ways that give it a feeling of despairing calm or anxious rest. I know those are contradictory expressions but listen and you might hear what I mean. The music moves at a pace in ways that just let the mind wander even though that seems impossible. It is despairing and challenging throughout, but the band also insists there’s an element of devotion, perhaps even of hope, to the whole thing. I believe them, but I don’t personally hear that as much as I hear the negative, angry side of things. Still, even the most despairing music can have an element of hope in it.

The tracks here are all between 12 and 14 minutes, but they generally don’t feel too long. Yes, they develop slowly, but they resist giving the impression that the repeated parts are just so much padding. Drone music might be an acquired taste for some, but I think fans of this style will be fine with just letting it come at its own pace. I was especially happy that there wasn’t any particular need to build things up toward an epic finale. Old Westerns would build toward the final shootout, but this album shifts about with a bold and defiant ease mixed with curiosity to see what minimal structures, layers of noise, and loads of distortion can bring.

Of the four tracks, I enjoyed “Forest Fire” and “Pale Man” the most. If you also enjoy them, you’ll probably like the whole album. If you haven’t listened to Body Void before now, this may be a good place to start with them. The music here is a bit darker and a bit more ambitious. It is also heavy and brutal in ways fans of the genre will enjoy. Also be sure to check out the cover art by Ibay Arifin Suradi; it represents a deer in mid-transformation and it also points to the album’s larger interest in slow but dramatic metamorphoses.

Track Listing:
1. Wound
2. Forest Fire
3. Fawn
4. Pale Man

Added: April 17th 2021
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 125
Language: english

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