The Body: All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood

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The Body: All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood
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The Body: All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood
Sludge Metal
At a Loss Recordings
July 27th, 2010
Release length: 49:50
Myspace
The Body is a Sludge Metal outfit from Rhode Island, however given the material on their second full-length, All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood, one would consider themselves more a mix of Stoner Metal and Drone at times. This release features some enjoyable Sludge material, but in then end, some of the additional aspects of the album, including audio samples and technical, somewhat Industrial aspects, really take away from the overall satisfaction that this album would give off. If this is the band’s idea of waging war on anything false, it sadly leaves plenty to the imagination of the listener, as it simply doesn’t quite deliver the impact one would hope for when a band slings that notion around as a motto.

The album starts off with a choir performing, much like one you would hear if you were to attend a church, except it’s not of a hymn, or even anything with real words, simply a choir performing in the background for nearly ten minutes, and in the end the screaming kicks in behind it to close the song out. This proves to be the most daring track on the release, as this is all the first ten minuteis of the album is. It’s not bad at all, as the choir sound excellent, even beautiful as it’s all female, and in a sense works with the band’s “end of the world” lyrical content. Of course, this isn’t really the first time such a thing appears on this album, as an audio sample on “Empty Hearth” through the entire song that features comedian Dennis Leary and another girl performing with him, do what sounds like yet another hymn like the track “A Body” but is more annoying, and brings in a more Industrial sound to the band as it is looped behind the entire song, and even has some other elements thrown in almost like a techno-based record skip, random drop outs, and things such as that with industrial sounds that make up the guitars and drums, but a very slow pace to the point of Drone, with the vocalist randomly screaming things behind it, leading to a definite moment of confusion for the album. There also appears to be a didgeridoo in the background near the end of the song as the audio sample seems to continuesly cut in and out to close this track off, as if being cut off like a conversation on a cell phone with a low signal. Unlike “A Body” this track simply cannot be called daring, but instead just comes off as really irritating, yet somehow addicting for the first two minutes. Had it been limited to a two, two and a half minute length, it would have been an alright piece of randomness included that would entertain the listener a few times.

Honestly, while this band is listed as a Sludge Metal act, those tracks, and plenty more that follow, seem to create more a Stoner Metal, even Drone or Noisecore sound when the band doesn’t actually play some Sludge. There’s very few songs on here that stick primarily to Sludge, such as “A Curse”. This really shows what the band can do when not distracted by random Industrialized musical elements or audio samples, and it’s a highly enjoyable slower paced Sludge track that doesn’t go wandering off in any other direction. The vocals here, that seem to be rarely used at times, would remind the listener of a falsetto like scream that Macabre uses for their material. Even the song “Even Saints Knew THeir Hour of Failure and Loss” can often sound like a toned down Sludge version of Macabre‘s material, sometimes hitting at material off the album Murder Metal. Atop of “The Curse” and “Even Saints Knew Their Hour of Failure and Loss”, there’s also “Song of Sarin the Brave”, which only the latter half of the song really has any genuine Sludge material to it, which sadly is not all that entertaining. It’s at this point the album seems to find it’s direction, which actually doesn’t come as much of a shock considering the material was previous released on an EP in 2006.

Three of the songs on this release are re-recorded songs off the Even the Saints Knew Their Hour of Failure and Loss release back in 2006, which includes the song of that same name, “Song of Sarin the Brave” (which is retitled from “Sarin. How the Gods Kill”), and “Ruiner”. Of all the tracks on the album, these three are the most impressive and really show what the band is capable of. The last track, “Lathspell I Name You”, however, is really where the group shines through, but the length winds up playing a factor after a while. This track has a solid start, and near the half way point, once you plow through some impressive Sludge that keeps it’s consistancy from start to finish like the previous two tracks on the album, but much heavier in comparison, it heads into a change of pace as far as the progress of the song goes, turning more into the ritualist sounding music that was utilized in the background of “Empty Hearth”, and closing things off with a more Stoner/Drone atmosphere when the band brings the music to it’s deepest, slowest point. However, that middle part just mentioned winds up being where listeners may want to jump ship as it just keeps going on and isn’t all that impressive. At it’s slowest, there appears to be random screaming that differs greatly from what was established through the entire album, and muffled choir singing once again that was used to kick the album off on “A Body”, which, by the way, is performed by The Assembly of Light Choir on both parts of this release.

Honetly, All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood winds up being one of those releases that leaves you scratching your head, and not so much in a good way. Some of the ideas the band brings into play here are interesting, and often can be considered daring for the band. However, it feels like the band tries to bridge too many categories in their music, and often looses sight of exactly what they are doing. The first half of the album, aside the second track “A Curse”, really seems to just be a waste with no real talent incorporated by the band themselves, not including the choir that performs on the first song, “A Body”. Even the latter tracks are not that great at the start, but wind up building up the further you get, ending very well with the closing track “Lathspell I Name You”, even if the middle portion of the song winds up feeling a bit too drawn out. Clearly the album has it’s ups and downs, and can be often confusing. This release by The Body shows the potential they have, but at the same time have elements that wind up setting them back greatly. The best thing to do is sample some of the material before buying it, as there does happen to be a few tracks here that wind up being worth your time in the long run as far as repeat spins are concerned.

01. A Body – 9:59
02. A Curse – 4:33
03. Empty Hearth – 4:22
04. Even Saints Knew Their Hour of Failure and Loss – 5:50
05. Song of Sarin the Brave – 5:55
06. Ruiner – 5:25
07. Lathspell I Name You – 13:50
Overall Score: 3.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by At a Loss Recordings via Earsplit PR.