A ruthless blend of panic and fury
Every so often a song or an album seethes with such a menacing air in its opening moments that there’s no doubt that something truly threatening lurks between its silences. This could be presented as a riff, a note, a drone, even a prolonged period of silence can possess a devastating quality. Using this technique, The Body and Uniform make their intentions known from the opening seconds of the record, a slow build into madness marks the beginning of a journey through hell. It’s a trip well worth taking.
Last year Uniform and The Body teamed up to create Mental Wounds Not Healing, one of the bleakest, most intense listening experiences of 2018. At the same time, each band released a solo work in 2018, both of which are in contention for the best piece of solo work either band has ever released. Luckily for all of us, it seems that the magic hasn’t run out just yet, and they’ve once again collaborated to create one of the most foreboding records of 2019.
Each song on this record thrums with a vicious intensity – the opening grumbles on “Gallows in Heaven” feels like it will render you into a thick, gelatinous substance with its sheer force. The combination of each band’s propensity toward the extreme blossoms in weird and unpredictable ways. The constant experimentation of The Body lends a fleshy, otherworldly element to each track while the industrial rage of Uniform keeps the record from floating off into space, firmly grounding it in the final scene of Terminator. What is best about this record is that instead of letting each other smooth out the rough edges, both bands combine to sharpen them to a scalpel fine point. Parts of the record are so sharp you could cut yourself open on them, the almost DnB intensity of “Vacancy” the droning riffs and propulsiveness of “Penance.” Each of these moments is brilliantly recognized with glassy clarity, coalescing into one of the most vibrant listening experiences of the year so far.
Menace isn’t something that is easy to communicate, Metal albums often feel loud or aggressive, but there’s always some element of technicality or self-seriousness that holds them back from inducing fear. This album feels like it can hurt you. The kind of record that will hunt you down and break your bones in an alleyway. In a way, this is why the combination of these bands work. The relentless force of a group like Uniform is overwhelming and threatening, whereas The Body has always found ways to push the envelope and unbalance listeners. The record is like watching a mid-day assault, aggression and fear perfectly mixed in a visceral, memorable manner, all you can do is stand and hope that it’s attention doesn’t turn to you next.