The Body
I have fought against it, But I can’t any longer


4.5
superb

Review

by SomeGuyDude USER (31 Reviews)
May 11th, 2018 | 74 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Walk away from the light, for it shall burn your flesh.

Where do you even start with an entity like The Body" I hesitate to call the duo a "band" because the sheer variance of musical elements in their output, to the point that "composers" feels a bit more accurate, if kinda pretentious. Calling them "metal" barely works, despite starting off as a sludge outfit and doing splits with some goddamn intense metal bands, thanks to how much they've branched out over the last few albums. It's kind of a nice way of approaching things. Do a more metal-y album with Full of Hell or Krieg, then go balls-out with the weird on a solo album. Everybody's happy.

Wait, did I say happy" I mean the opposite of that.

The Body, for those unfamiliar, is sort of like what would happen if Boris was a whole damn lot more nihilistic. They flit haphazardly between genres, playing with metal, electronic, and even pop influences (or "gross pop" as they called it), never content to sit in one place. They also might win the ever-lengthening battle in metal for Most Artsy-Fartsy Song and Album Titles. The most important thing about a The Body album to remember, though, is that there's no way to anticipate what you're in for, except that it's going to incredibly bleak.

I Have Fought... kicks off with a morose, slow opener that has some guest vocals from Chrissy Wolpert of Assembly of Light Choir. More clean female vocals stick around for the next track, and odd piece with more electronic drums rolling beneath a wall of bass tones and static featuring Chip King's well known tortured screams before we even get a hint of metal on the third track. Even that's more hints of industrial metal as synths and programmed drums fly from left speaker to right speaker with the occasional blast of distortion. Don't expect riffs, blast beats, or grooves. That's not how The Body rolls. Expect stifling walls of overdriven guitars, stomping drums, and howling shrieks buried and treated in the mix to the point that it's hard to believe a human being made them.

I've seen I Have Fought... described as a "soundtrack" elsewhere, and I agree. These songs, typical of The Body (and the only situation in which the word "typical" gets anywhere in the same area code of The Body), aren't structured in any standard way, gradually morphing as they seep along the ground rather than having an intro/verse/chorus/etc construction. This is less music to be played for a crowd of fans and more something that deserves to be played for atmosphere during some dystopian nightmare.

A major highlight of this album is the presence of Kristin Hayter of Lingua Ignota, itself a downright harrowing musical project. Her vocals ricochet between ethereal singing and throaty screams with such power in both instances that mix so beautifully with the music that I am not kidding when I say I'd love for her to be a permanent fixture. If you haven't heard Lingua Ignota, pull her up on BandCamp. Very much worth it.

As time goes, it does seem that The Body's electronic influences become more prominent, but this isn't a bad thing. Maybe we can take that earlier analogy and say if Boris had sex with Godflesh and gave birth in a tar pit, you'd get The Body. The tempos are slow and laborious, drowning in overdrive and static, with thick and often murky production that seems hell-bent on suffocating the listener. Instruments layer atop one another, bleeding in and over each other like a wild stampede. It leads to a pretty exhausting listen, one you've gotta commit to because otherwise you'll feel like you need to take a break about 4 songs in.

If I have to pick some nits, and I suppose I should, one is that Chip's screams really are an acquired taste. I'm a fan, but they're so melodramatic I could imagine many listeners being turned off by them. They're used pretty sparingly in this case, and generally mixed pretty far back with a nice coating of glitch over them so make them more atmosphere than prominent feature, but still. Additionally, The Body does their unfortunately habitual issue of taking the darkness just a bit far and the closing track feels like it doesn't really need to be there. The long spoken word section isn't especially well acted, and although it has kind of a nice thing going, sitting through the whole thing is a chore in a decidedly less rewarding way than the tracks previous.

On the reverse, "Blessed, Alone" is superb, displaying the juxtaposition of vicious and delicate incredibly well. After a brief wave of distortion, we get more soft female singing and a piano with strings... but then something dark begins. The distortion is back. There's something wrong in the background. The drums erupt, the screaming starts. It all builds up to a glorious cacophony that's simultaneously hideous and beautiful.

I Have Fought... is, as I've said, not an easy listen. It's not a long album, just under the 50 minute mark, but the sheer intensity of its misanthropy combined with the total disregard for conventional song structure means that the usual avenues of respite are absent. Even the soft portions feel less like moments to relax and more like holding your breath while waiting for the next salvo. It's another entry in The Body's unbelievable catalogue, and one well worth taking the time for.



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user ratings (45)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SomeGuyDude
May 11th 2018


300 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I could not wait to get this album, and wow it did not disappoint.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2018


1125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Guess I’ll try this band again

SomeGuyDude
May 11th 2018


300 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you're a fan of The Body, this is gonna be right up your alley. If you've been less than thrilled about their last few, this probably won't change your mind.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2018


1125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like their sound but I just hate Chip’s vocals

BREAKDOWNS
May 11th 2018


311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

best vocalist of all time fuck you mean

FreddieDelaney31
May 11th 2018


3857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Absolutely loved some of this and absolutely could not fucking stand some of it, keen to give it more listens

Digging: Keaton Henson - Dear...

SomeGuyDude
May 11th 2018


300 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Chip's vocals are insanely polarizing, I don't blame anyone for being turned away by them.

dbizzles
May 11th 2018


11347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Just finished this and I am fucking wholly pleased and surprised. This is the most I've enjoyed any release from The Body as it stands. Kristin's vocals are an absolute treat- the harsh sections especially. This album includes the perfect amount of industrial elements and once again The Band succeeds in engrossing the listener in a flighty pig sty of atmospheric dread.



I'm still not quite a fan of the rooster shrieks but they feel more distorted and acceptable here than anywhere else- or I am finally just getting used to them. Idk, it doesn't matter, this owns and those vocals take nothing away from this release for me unlike with previous output.

Digging: The Body - I have fought against it, But I can?t any longer

BREAKDOWNS
May 11th 2018


311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

might be their best record yet

dbizzles
May 11th 2018


11347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Wrote that a little prematurely, had one more song left and it was uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh fucked lol.



It's like an emotionless memoir of a serial-killer-turned-elephant-man tacked to the end of a very brief track more consistent to the rest of the album. I didn't hate it.

robotmagician
May 11th 2018


644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this album is really really damn good, and I enjoy how well they’ve taken together elements that should fit and found ways to make great songs. the way chip’s vocals have taken a back seat to others is an interesting change and likely makes this their most “accessible” record.



I really cannot stand the last song though, i’ll probably never listen to it again.

FreddieDelaney31
May 11th 2018


3857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The distorted shrieks are way way way overused, it's legitimately stupid imo and heavily detracts from the album

BREAKDOWNS
May 11th 2018


311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that's his fucking vocal style lmao, that's like saying kendrick lamars rapping is overused, or kurt cobains singing was overused

SomeGuyDude
May 11th 2018


300 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I tend to think that someone's opinions of Chip's vocals depends heavily on if one can handle Silencer. If Silencer makes you burst out laughing, Chip ain't gonna work for you. If you can at least tolerate Silencer, Chip won't be an issue. If you like Silencer, Chip's vocals are irreplaceable.

FreddieDelaney31
May 11th 2018


3857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm new to the band so I don't know, it's obviously just not for me, chill the fuck out lmao do you need a hug?

BREAKDOWNS
May 11th 2018


311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no, i need you to stop making assinine, beginner level observations about music, and also for you to suck my dick from the back.

dbizzles
May 11th 2018


11347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

They are polarizing. My first experience with the bad was when they opened for FUCKING ALCEST of all bands. I had no idea what in the absolute fuck I was watching. It stuck with me all this time. Still one of the most.... affecting.... performances I'd ever seen. I'll never blame anyone for being turned off by Chip's vocals, but at this point I'm so interested in the rest of their sound that I don't really care or mind them.

FreddieDelaney31
May 11th 2018


3857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah so, anyways

Don't like his vocals I guess, like everything else

BREAKDOWNS
May 11th 2018


311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i will cause it shows you have a. an untrained ear, and b. obviously not heard extreme genres of music before and probably sit around listening to radiohead and the beatles all day

dbizzles
May 11th 2018


11347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Come on, it's not hard to understand why someone would be critical of these vox. I listen to enough extreme metal and I still find them generally off-putting.



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