Released From Love / You, Whom I Have Always Hated
Portland, Oregon via Providence, Rhode Island doom noise duo the Body grew more and more prone to collaboration as their tenure wore on, inviting both noise artists like the Haxan Cloak and gothic choral group the Assembly of Light Choir to take part in their always shifting, always brutal sonic assaults. A team-up with equally sludgy Baton Rouge doom metal act Thou was a suitable next chapter when the two entities teamed up in 2014 for the collaborative EP Released from Love. The burning, suffocating walls of downtuned guitars and battle-ready drums found an expanded bedding for both Thou vocalist Bryan Funck's slithering demon whispers and the Body vocalist/bassist Chip King's distinctive high-pitched screams. The sound of these four tunes was noisy, overpoweringly slow, and bookended by singers who sounded respectively like a dark overlord reciting evil invocations and a manic pterodactyl screaming in pain. The expanded release of Released from Love includes six additional tracks from further collaborative sessions, these tunes gathered together under the dark title You, Whom I Have Always Hated. The crushing intensity on this collection is commonplace for both bands, but comes together with more swampy layers than either can muster on their own, the Body's guitar-free sound bolstered by Thou's wickedly melodic guitar work on songs like "In Meeting Hearts Beat Closer." Likewise, the penchant for noise that the Body developed over the years touches tracks like the percussive fuzzfest "Her Strongholds Unvanquishable." Two of the album's standout tracks come with its covers. The ensemble delivers a sinking, depressively spare take on Vic Chesnutt's tune "Coward" as well as a more faithful rendition of early Nine Inch Nails classic "Terrible Lie." The results, while violent and explosive, almost sound like the members of both bands are having some version of fun in the studio, injecting a song that probably sounded earth-shattering when it came out in 1989 with enough noise, venom, and vitriol to make Trent Reznor sound like Perry Como. ~ Fred Thomas
Spin - "Every note sounds instinctual, every moment fluid; this is what happens when good friends come together to watch the world burn."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[A] remarkably cohesive and singular album. Though it shows signs of both responsible parties, it also proves their inherent restlessness, as they're both willing to bend toward one another to create something richer than they might have rendered themselves."