US Sludge experimentalists The Body make such a habit of collaborative projects that one would think the duo aren’t overly happy in each other’s company. Everything That Dies Someday Comes Back (Sacred Bones Records) is the second such outing with US Industrial noiseniks Uniform and it contains every dystopian soundscape you’d expect.
Opener ‘Gallows in Heaven’ begins with an ominous ambiance before Uniform kicks in with sharp, icy beats and hostile roars. It’s at the three-quarter point when we first experience The Body: Chip King‘s piercing, hysterical scream, and riff beefing up the sound and turning the track into one sweet unity. The ensuing ‘Not Good Enough’ again starts with the clash of Industrial metallics and hollered lyrics before the more constant, heavier aspects augment sinister yet euphoric organ effects.
The two opening tracks set a tone for the album as a whole: chaotic yet wholly suitable arrangement, with each protagonist knowing their place. The Industrial Punk of ‘Vacancy’ and ‘Patron Saint Of Regret’ display more of a duel between the two acts, each side firing a frenetic, pulsating mass into the mix before darting out and making way for the other. ‘…Regret’ in particular shows the alchemy this creates, as cold 80s Electronica blends with anxious verbal railing and squalling ambiance to manufacture a ball of nervous yet occasionally tuneful energy. ‘Penance’ sees more of those electronic pulses marry with both vocalists’ distinctive styles and a basic but effective backbeat to give an Oriental feel to the hostilities: while ‘All This Bleeding’ again sees Uniform’s wasteland battery govern but here with an iron scourge, its sampling delivered with rapid, unrelenting maleficence.
It does appear on first listen that The Body’s role is more of a supporting one, but repeated encounters reveal more of its input. ‘Day Of Atonement’s Dub Metal shows a scratchy riff and booming bass undercut Michael Berdan‘s threatened squeals, while huge drums thunder through the coda. The penultimate ‘Waiting For The End Of The World’ is a tundra of computer-voiced malfunction but, while closer ‘Contempt’ contains its fair share of samples and synth whirls, it again possesses the huge, extreme sound of the elder statesmen: guitars and drums howling and booming through a growing swell of sound.
It does take perseverance to properly gauge the aim and purpose of Everything That Dies Someday Comes Back, its direction initially far from apparent. What does become clear is the skill of both bands to unify and synchronise the sound to eventually produce an album of throbbing malevolence.
6 / 10