Review: The Body ‘I’ve Seen All I Need To See’
Providence, Rhode Island is to 2nd generation noise-rock what Seattle is to grunge and features the likes of Hella, Lightning Bolt and Black Dice. The Body who originated from the same city (although have since relocated to Portland), lean towards the metal side of the equation, but share those bands brand of musical experimentation and adventurism. I’ve Seen All I Need To See is their latest release following 2020’s collaboration with Uniform on the Live At The End Of The World album.
The appropriately named A Lament opens the album and features a narration of Scottish poet Douglas Dunn’s The Kaleidoscope which marked his sense of understandable confusion following his wife’s demise. The track has a glitch quality which can prove a little distracting at first but this subsides as it progresses into doomier territory as thunderous drums and riffs come into play. An interesting number that sets the tone for the album.
Tied Up And Locked In has a disturbing, claustrophobic feel with walls of sheer noise enveloping you along with disembodied shrieked vocals that are effective at creating a sense of overwhelming dread and fear. According to Oxford Languages the definition of eschatological is ‘relating to death, judgement, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind’ and listening to Eschatological Imperative, to quote Private Frazer from Dad’s Army ‘we’re all dooooomed’, stuck in some kind of eternal purgatory and/or hell. Dark music for dark times.
A Pain Of Knowing embraces Sunn O))) and their brand of drone-doom and if you enjoyed that band’s Black One album then there’s every chance you’ll appreciate this. The vocals remind me a little of Atilla Csihar on the aforementioned Sunn O))) album, a strangulated shriek that makes one think they are undergoing the most horrific torture imaginable. It makes for unpleasant listening and may call for a dose of Pet Sounds afterwards just so you can recalibrate yourself.
this is an intriguing yet difficult and uncomfortable listen…
The City Is Shelled recalls Kraftwerk’s Vom Himmel Hoch, the sound of a plane ominously hovering in the sky ready to dispatch death and destruction to the hapless citizens below. There’s also industrial Godflesh influences, the relentless apocalyptic pounding could easily have appeared on Like Rats. Definitely my favourite track on here. They Are Coming reminds me of Napalm Death’s Evolved As One from From Enslavement To Obliteration. The slow grind also evokes early Swans during their harsh early 80s period, hence why this number appeals so much to me.
The Handle The Blade with its tribal style rhythms remind one of latter day Sepultura around the Chaos AD/Roots period. Throw in a little Amebix styled post-punk and this made for an excellent listen and some much needed musical diversity. Path Of Failure concludes the album and combines the band’s own brand of harsh noise metal with some jazz style improvisation. One can imagine the late great Max Roach collaborating on this number.
Allmusic describe I’ve Seen All I Need to See as ‘one of The Body’s noisiest, harshest records yet’ and this is definitely a statement I agree with. I have enormous respect for bands like The Body who push boundaries and challenge perceived musical norms. That said and it’s probably my lack of musical sophistication, but I found the album at times hard-going, this is an intriguing yet difficult and uncomfortable listen. The band fit alongside the likes of Sumac, Sunn O))) and Harvey Milk, who for all intents and purposes, are metal but refuse to be restricted by the genre. My advice? Give it a listen and make up your own mind.
Label: Thrill Jockey Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp
Scribed by: Reza Mills