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The Body and Full Of Hell – Ascending A Mountain Of Heavy Light

Thrill Jockey

The Body and Full Of Hell - Ascending A Mountain Of Heavy LightTheir second collaborative album finds The Body and Full Of Hell colliding into a molten lava field of brutality and raw emotional outpourings the like of which pulls teeth and punches metaphorical guts with nihilistic abandon. Ascending A Mountain Of Heavy Light uses both drum machines and the fearsome rhythmic skills of Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt and Black Pus infamy to provide a propulsive foundation to their mordant and profoundly channelled aggression.

Given the fracturing and evolving nature of global cultures that have been cross-fertilising and rubbing each other (and themselves) up the wrong way in ever-increasing amounts and with more and more violent results, is it any wonder that extreme music has become even more so this century? Ascending A Mountain Of Heavy Light is certainly among the heaviest, of any era. Drawing on all manner of heavy musical tropes, from hip-hop of the Dälek variety to guttural hardcore, steel-smashing industrial, free jazz skronk and sheer atonal noise, the partnership also widens to include guest vocals from Assembly of Light Choir‘s Chrissy Wolpert once again, as well as from Ben Eberle of Sandworm.

It’s not often that there’s a record released that manages to equally disturbing as those splurged out by Gnaw Their Tongues in full morbid flight, while simultaneously as fervid as Masonna when in speaker-stack tumbling fury, but this is one of them. Ultimately there’s no easy way to pin this down other than to say that it’s an album that ploughs its furrow so vigorously and so harshly that it’s almost a marvel that small buildings and items of furniture don’t collapse under the stress. It’s also no wonder that there have been previous collaborations with Merzbow and The Bug, and a bit of both those artists’ particular brand of heaviosity can be heard – and felt – on the yawning chasm on visceral (and unedited) emotion that is Ascending A Mountain Of Heavy Light.

While the feedback and frenetic vocalisations of a scorching feast of destruction like “Our Love Conducted with Shields Aloft” can let rip with no prisoners taken and no melodic quarter asked for, nor received, then how much more gratifying is the chundering yawp of “Master’s Story”. Here, the method if maybe not the mood shifts laterally into a combination of sludge dynamics with some surprisingly Crass-like motivational ire hurled vibrantly into the existential void in a spasm of tautly controlled anguish.

-Antron S Meister-

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