The press cycle for The Body’s latest release, No One Deserves Happiness, is heavy on the noise-doom duo’s apparent dissatisfaction with modern metal and their intent to distance themselves from it. In an interview with Fact, Lee Buford hails Top 40 pop and calls modern metal “the worst.” “As far as a genre, there are just so many things I find an issue with that I just don’t want to be associated with it,” he says. It’s not surprising or even weird that a dude who makes incredibly harsh music would dig pop, but The Body’s inherent nihilism also suggests that they would hate the music and scene to which they are often pigeonholed.
The Body aren’t metal, but they are heavy, and they are angry. They seek out and collaborate with like-minded artists who are not always full-on metal, either. The Body’s list of collaborators is a map to modern harsh music, a projection of both Chip King and Buford’s tastes and their overwhelming desire to create. In a way, they bring out the best in the bands with which they share an album billing. They’re content to destroy music as we know it, and they’ve picked up a strong ensemble of corroborators along the way.
Full of Hell fit the archetype perfectly: a band vying for the title of harshest ever with drum machine onslaughts and deafening screams. It’s true and violent horror in stereo. Their electro-grindcore sound is unimpeded on One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache, merely accented and brought to life by The Body and their various gadgets of destruction. Both of these bands take the sound of conventional instrumentation and distort it beyond recognition, into garbled power, piercing frequencies, and deep low end. When the drums kick off at a violent BPM on the opening title track, it’s a free-for-all of noise. Full of Hell vocalist Dylan Walker bellows and howls while King’s cooing vocals cut through the mix like a sinister reminder. The end of the track moves between a slower crawl and smatterings of drum machines that interrupt the drone periodically. It’s one of the only songs on the album with embellished pop structures. After the relatively calm electronic aside “Fleshworks”, the rest is a journey of formless chaos.
Like Prurient’s Frozen Niagara Falls last year, The Body and Full of Hell put the listener through the ringer, testing patience and gall. A cover of Leonard Cohen’s “The Butcher” is so buried in fuzz and feedback that it drifts by like a dark cloud, ominous but not quite the storm proper. However, “Gehorwilt” and “World of Hope and Pain” are blasts of reckless screams and drum smashing with no hooks. It is a painful ambience, like free jazz powerviolence.
The album is paced accordingly, with slight reprieves from the noise breaking up the tracklist. “Bottled Urn”, with its fat 808 beat, offers more to latch onto before Full of Hell take the album out with “The Little Death”, a track that is certainly theirs based on the cascading drums. King and Walker duet their deathly shrieks in true finale form. One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache ends in a blur, improvisatory and cathartic — but it feels longer than its 32-minute runtime. This is not an easy album to listen to, and it takes a certain state of mind to casually consume it. The Body wear their darkness proudly, curmudgeony noisemakers to the core, and Full of Hell define brutal. It was inevitable that their album would come out as a disasterpiece in the best way — a fuck-all directed at the idea of melody itself.
Essential Tracks: “One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache”, “The Little Death”