Sludge is an interesting beast, isn’t it? From its rock oriented origins through the Melvins, it has dwelled amidst the punk and southern blues when in the hands of Eyehategod, gone full decadent punk through Dystopia and Noothgrush, went through a drugs and stoner doom phase by way of Electric Wizard and Bongzilla and has been the most misused heavy music descriptor, often finding itself applied to post metal albums (not that there’s anything wrong with them). More recently, bands like Primitive Man have plunged it in an absolute abyss of low end heaviness, elements of death metal and doom aplenty, and a poignant critique of the capitalist hellhole in which we all exist. Within that same wavelength of sound and thought, Body Void have recently released their third and finest album to date, «Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth».
Body Void – «Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth» | [Prosthetic / Tridroid]
Split among four beastly tracks, all of which span over ten minutes, Body Void‘s new work moves with as ghastly a cadence as one can imagine in a doom album that just comes short of being all out funeral doom, as it tells the story of a planet ravaged by climate change and provides an attack on “the complicit mindset that allows devastating harm to run rampant through society,” as clearly exemplified in the opening track «Wound» with the lines of “this planet / is not yours / your hunger/ starves us // all your wealth / won’t save you / this planet / is not yours.”
Recorded by Eric Sauter and mixed by Gerg Wilkinson (a long time collaborator of the band, who was also responsible for the mixture of Necrot‘s «Mortal» and Undergang‘s «Aldrig i livet» last year monstrosities), the album’s sound is close to perfection for lovers of feedback and massive guitar tones, with the ending of «Forest Fire» being a testament to its nastiness; an ending, we might add, that works even better because the song’s path takes it through ominous blackened doom in the middle and blasts through some filthy punk (a trait that comes back in glorious fashion in «Fawn») before that final wall of sound hits us in the face. All this to say that the instrumental work of Edward Holgerson (drums) and Willow Ryan (bass and guitars) is not only fantastic but carries with it just the right amount of variation to be equal parts punishing and engaging. However, the cherry on top of it all has to be Willow Ryan‘s voice. Take for instance «Pale Man», in which the riffing is cut by their scream of “pale man he comes / across the ocean / he brings disease / white supremacy,” not only a rather relevant (and historically accurate) anti-colonial statement but the perfect tone setting scream for the album’s final and bleakest piece.
«Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth» was released on April 23 by Prosthetic and Tridroid Records on cassette, cd, digital, and vinyl formats. It can be ordered here (cd, digital, and vinyl) and here (cassette).
Below, you can further revisit Body Void’s first two albums; «Ruins», released on June 16, 2016, by Transylvanian Tapes, and «I Live Inside A Burning House», released on May 11, 2018, by Crown and Thorne, Dry Cough, and Seeing Red.