Don’t listen to the new the Body album. Seriously, don’t! Don’t even read this article. It’s too toxic. Everyone who touches it dies. The Portland band previously making music like that found on their 2013 album Christs, Redeemers and the utterly superb dirge on Master, We Perish have teamed up with one-man outfit Haxan Cloak to produce something far beyond any of their previous works. I Shall Die Here is a revelation. It’s a seismic shift in the way I perceive heavy music. It’s a new yardstick. Forget Silencer, forget Earth, forget Metal Machine Music; without fear of hyperbole, I can say I Shall Die Here is the Heaviest Record of All Time. The sky too, is falling under you. It’s all over now baby blue.
It’s sludge metal, in the same way the blasted bones and twisted cauterised flesh in the aftermath of an airstrike are people. In interviews they say plainly “we just maximise everything”, and whether referring to the pure sound levels, or the cosmic-background-radiation heaviness, or the up-to-eleven level of mature misanthropic fury, they do. Extremity is the blood coursing through the ample musculature of this album, extremity gives it strength and stamina. It’s not a record, it’s a weapon. Less like a work of art and more like a directed killing machine. I Shall Die Here casts into the post-industrial wasteland with a total disregard for self-preservation or your ability to keep up. Its structure and engineering have much more in common with an M16 than any work of creative art. It’s a delivery system for the Body’s high-calibre slow-motion ammunition. Samples, guitar, electronics, the most tortured vocals of a record since Death, Pierce Me; it all comes together like sulphur, charcoal and potassium nitrate, and the nihilism with which the Body have approached their whole career is the firing pin, and this album won’t just pass by, someone is going to die.
For the vast majority of the straight population, records like I Shall Die Here will be nothing more than ‘dare food’, the emotional hammerblow lost amid the indecipherable planet-crashing-into-the-sun fuzz noise and the insane volume. While inappropriate for those who haven’t been through the necessary twelve-week correspondence course of death, doom, sludge and black metal records, for those who have, it will become an emotional and spiritual necessity, over and above usefulness. For the dark nights, when the wolf growls behind the door, and the abyss threatens; and as the city sleeps you can put it on as loud as you can, to mask the sounds of the demons in the shadows, to silence the whisky voices of doubt. Your neighbours will think it’s a noise in the plumbing, and like discovering a corpse in the basement, it will frame all your previous heavy listening with a sense of horror as you realise what was out there buried underneath homely surrounds all this time.
Written under duress by Steven.