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Absent in Body: Plague God

Absence in Body is Mathieu J. Vandekerckhove & Colin H. Van Eeckhout (Amenra), Scott Kelly (Neurosis) & Igor Cavelera (Sepultura). Amenra and Neurosis are two bands that immediately come to mind when I think about uncompromisingly heavy bands that can’t necessarily be pigeonholed into a clear sub-genre. It’s no surprise then that Absent In Body follow a similar path. Plague God consists of 5 brooding dirges which nod to Sludge, Post Metal, Industrial, Doom and other forms of sonic murk. The claustrophobic atmosphere and a general sense of unease are the common threads that runs throughout the release.

The vocals are delivered in a variety of styles ranging from unhinged howling to aggressive growls, tranquil cleans and even introspective spoken word sections. The range of vocal styles is a welcome point of variation in what is otherwise a relatively constant release in its approach to the downtrodden atmospheric instrumentation. Speaking of the instrumentation, I like that they’re not shy about taking the time to slowly build up to an idea, or stretch their ideas right out either. As a result, all of the 5 tracks on the album are long, but it works. I don’t find myself wishing the album was any shorter or any longer- they’ve nailed the length, just as they have done the sonic aesthetic, and almost every other detail relating to the release. The album artwork and the video clips for the two lead singles are particularly fitting too.

In my opinion it’s rare for a ‘Supergroup’ to deliver the goods, but in the case of Absent in Body we have a group that fulfills its potential and delivers the type of music that you’d hope to hear from its contributors. If you’re a fan of Amenra or Neurosis you’ll find plenty to like on Plague God . It’s an album I’ll reach for whenever I want to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.

1. Rise From Ruins
2. In Spirit In Spite
3. Sarin
4. The Acres/the Ache
5. The Half Rising Man

Added: March 29th 2022
Reviewer: Chris Reid
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 541
Language: english

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