The Body I've Seen All I Need to See Thrill Jockey
The Portland band take things back to basics on their eighth album, returning to the sludge and doom metal of their early releases. By switching their electronic and production-heavy palette with something that’s more stripped-back and truer to their live incarnation, they push an already intense sound to even greater extremes.
This is best demonstrated on the almost-drumless A Pain of Knowing. Opening with the dispiriting line “Every time I wake up I get so quiet I nearly die”, an almost elemental, meditative guitar tone reverberates throughout the track’s five minutes. Indeed, rather than using the parred back concept as an excuse to tone down, the band forces their sound world to breaking point, exploding the limits of voice, drums, guitar and distortion. Path of Failure epitomises this raw approach with a vibrant multiple-minute-long drum solo pitted against Chip King’s distorted guitar and piercing howl. Elsewhere, The Handle/The Blade, carrying the album’s most simple song structure, stands out with its tight, repetitive beat resembling one played by a corps of drums in a military parade.
A foreboding, harsh cacophony that moves through various degrees of intensity, I’ve Seen All I Need To See finds The Body building their gloomiest sonic architecture to date. A dystopian soundtrack that speaks to the times we’re living through.