The Body, out of Providence, fuses three varieties of heavy music – noise punk, metal and classical choral arrangements – into an astonishingly volatile, obliterating mix. The two principals Body parts — Chip King and Lee Burford – supply the first two elements. They are a guitar and drums duo, not as fast as their neighbors in Lightning Bolt, nor as light-footedly playful, but possessed of the same sparking, smoking intensity. King is, among other things, a superlative screamer, shrieking a trebly, half-human overlay to the disc’s most exhilarating onslaughts. Yet in between these bursts of white-noise, blur-speed, shriek fests, the Body turns slow, heavy, metallically weighted, as drum beats slow to dirgeful marches and guitar notes splinter into blatting firestorms of feedback and dissonance. “Bearer of Bad Tidings” shifts from antic, frantic speed punk to monstrously distorted heaviness. For a bit more than a minute, the Body threatens to blow itself up into a million shimmering, shattering particles, then it pulls up, blaring single blistered tones across slow measures, landing so hard on the ones that the floor shudders underneath.
All this would be well enough on its own, but the Body adds one final element to its mix – the all-female Assembly of Light Choir, whose members float minor key harmonies and lovely descants across blasted, scream-filled sonic expanses. The album’s opener “I, the Mourner of Perished Days” is wildly pretty, a single woman’s voice offering solace over surreal Ligeti-esque vibrations. “To Attempt Openness” take the juxtaposition even further layering distortion abraded guitar heaviness with wordless choral ecstasies. Strings come in for “An Altar or a Grave,” melting warm against icy singing and more of King’s keening.
It’s not that no one’s ever tried a fusion of unearthly beauty and raging noise before. Jesu, Fucked Up, Alcest and probably a bunch of others regularly experiment with sublime gorgeousness and ghostly choruses. The Body’s alchemy feels different, however, as the noisiness is so urgent, the salve so cool and soothing. Listening to Christs, Redeemers is like watching a monk set himself on fire, the screams of agony subsumed in a cloud of light.
DOWNLOAD: “Bearer of Bad Tidings” “An Altar or a Grave”