The Body/Full of Hell: Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light

On their second collaboration, The Body and Full of Hell create a nightmarish soundscape with Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light, an intense, experimental album that boasts powerful, tar-thick guitars, atom-bomb exploding drums, and glitch-distorted electronic noise. Both bands are pioneering experimentalists in their own genre; The Body given to Doom and Sludge, while Full of Hell associate more with Hardcore/Grindcore. Neither of them fall under the cliché trappings of their genre, but rather sonically experiment with the boundaries of their musical fields to create challenging, original works. Definitely not for everyone, this album’s punishing distorted volume and energy will leave your head feeling like an open wound after its completion. For anyone seeking original, challenging music, this album is an amazing culmination of two brave, pioneering bands successfully provoking the definition of heavy metal and hardcore music.

Throughout the album, the songs weave between driving industrial hardcore and heavy doom. The two collaborators are able to skillfully utilize each other’s trademarks to balance the album between unrelenting barrage and fiery crawl while intricate noise experimentation permeates throughout the chaos. It will make the listener uneasy or even alienated at times, but this album spares no remorse as it pushes the listener through a maze of full volume aberration.

The beginning track, “Light Penetrates”, starts with a cacophony of over-driven electronics as The Body’s Lee Buford drops thudding war-like drums underneath. As it progresses, the listener is bludgeoned with a bombardment of guitar-driven thunder as the songs comes to a complete crawl; almost as if the tempo has had an anvil dropped on it. This track is exemplary for the rest of the album where we are bombarded with chaotic grindcore and then immediately hit with a wall of ferocious, dense doom metal. The Body’s Chip King blasts a strained squeal that cuts through the massive distortion, creating what can be described as tense trumpet call of Hell’s army. Full of Hell’s Dylan Walker, however, serves as a powerful foundation for the low ends of the album. On certain parts it seems his voice takes on a volcanic rumble and then attacks with a vicious, animalistic snarl. Nothing is safe when the two sing at the album’s most intense moments.

“Earth Is A Cage” and “Master’s Story” are another example of this “crawl-then-go” sound. The tracks start with a booming, electronic percussion that quickly implodes into a fierce assault of guitar and crashing drums all while a storm of static distortion precipitates over the unceasing explosion that has just taken place. Chip King’s piercing howl complements Dylan Walker’s low growl, create a duet of carnal sounds that accentuate the unforgiving brutality of the tracks.

If you’re a listener that seeks out alternatives to mainstream metal then this album should be your next listening venture. It’s powerful, dark, and full of grinding intensity. It’s amazing how these songs can have so much turmoil being delivered through the listener’s speakers yet somehow never manage to clutter each individual part. Through the chaos, The Body and Full of Hell find harmony for their sonic experimentations; never meandering or getting lost in their own eccentricity, but rather creating a brave work that establishes itself as a progressive, original work among a vast collective of metal redundancies.

Rating: 8.0/10

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