Sometimes life gets in the way of things you really want to do. This past summer, I had just started a new job and was trying to do my best to learn the position and prove to the company I was dependable. Part of that made me sacrifice seeing the first day of Gilead Fest 2014 because I couldn’t take the desired amount of time off. I knew already from the lineup that night, my decision would be a painful one.
I missed a lot of good stuff that night (I still need to see Oozing Wound live), but the main attraction for me would have been the mighty collaboration of The Body and Thou, two of the mightiest, most destructive, most inventive doom bands on the entire planet. That one hurt. I’d followed both bands through the bulk of their discographies, and seeing both forces on the same stage, playing together as one killing machine, was not something I’d expect to see again for a long time. Or maybe even at all. Ah, adult responsibilities. You really suck it sometimes.
Luckily for jerks like me who had to miss that gargantuan performance, we have a new collaborative effort from both bands “You, Whom I Have Always Hated,” a record any fan of heavy music, especially uncompromising doom and chaos, must hear for themselves. It’s the second joint effort from the two bands, following last year’s “Released From Love” EP (that contains their unreal cover of Vic Chestnutt’s “Coward” and is packed with the CD and digital version of this release), this new album pays off what we heard on that initial output, as well as I’m sure what Gilead fest attendees that fateful Friday night experienced in the flesh. These two bands are not for the weak of heart, and each plays with a passion, agitation, and desire that is threatening and enthralling. So just imagine when you make a super unit out of both bands and let them truck you over these six massive tracks.
The record explodes open with “Her Strongholds Unvanquishable” that has a heavy industrial bend to it when it starts and moves headlong in noise-drenched guitars squealing and Thou’s Bryan Funck unleashing his trademark muddy growl. The Body’s Chip King later introduces his inhuman wail, a cry you cannot mistake for anyone else’s, and drone clouds emerge as the cut reaches a bloody, clubbing finish. “The Devils of Trust Steal the Souls of the Free” is a quick, two-minute mauler that finds Funck back in front of you roaring along with filthy, heavyweight sludge and King terrifying you with his hellish pipes. The back end of the track has a bubbling melody worked into it, which sounds like Thou’s influence, and the cut dissolves into corrosive puddles. Up next is the groups’ take on Nine Inch Nails’ classic cut “Terrible Lie,” and song they douse in gasoline and set burning, with noise smothering everything, guitars spiraling and scraping, and both vocalists doing their best to make this song sound more violent and volatile than the original version. The live version was the talk of Gilead the whole weekend. Nothing like salt in the wound, huh?
“Beyond the Realms of Dream, That Fleeting Shade Under the Corpus of Vanity” is one hell of a mouthful to say, and it goes up early in doom smoke and what sounds like a million pounds of sound. Funck’s growls are vicious and unforgiving, with guitars adding to that oppressive sense of metallic power and King later cutting through that with his mad wails. The song is utterly terrifying in spots, which is not a surprise considering who is involved, and the song eventually burns out and gives off some final fumes. “He Returns to the Place of His Iniquity” is an interesting one, with cold guitars trickling ice drops on you, and weird noise interference that reminds a bit of the Body’s recent work with the Haxan Cloak. Voices warble and send chills through your bloodstream, leading to the cataclysmic closer “Lurking Fear.” It’s demolition from the start, with Funck dropping hammers vocally, feedback spitting sparks, and a filthy tempo that drives this thing. Then some odd weather moves in, with an uneasy tranquility taking over, clean, wordless singing floating over the scene, and that meeting up with the scorching final moments, where dual shrieks terrify you, and a smeary, nightmarish finish puts the perfect ending on this apocalyptic union.
If you’re still walking upright and in no pain once this record is over, you’re much tougher than I am. The Body and Thou put all of their massive chaos into these six songs, and despite not really being a fan of cover songs, they made me hear that NIN classic in a different way. That’s all I ask out of cover songs. “You, Whom I Have Always Hated” is a massive sonic assault that will twist your brain and beat you about the head and body. If that’s something you seek from your musical experiences, you might not have a better time all winter than you will with these two bands towering over your prone pile of flesh and bones.
For more on the Body, go here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/the-body/334047229514
For more on Thou, go here: http://noladiy.org/thou/
To buy the album, go here: http://www.thrilljockey.com/catalog/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.thrilljockey.com/