Body Void – I Live Inside a Burning House (Review)

Body VoidBody Void are a doom band from the US and this is their second album.

I love bands that play horrible, nihilistic, pitch-black doom/sludge, and Body Void are my latest discovery in this vein. If you’re a fan of bands such as Primitive Man, Khanate, Bongripper, CHRCH, and Keeper, for example, then this is very definitely for you.

Spread out like a virus across 67 minutes of scathing sludge and bleak, hateful doom, I Live Inside a Burning House is not the kind of music you put on for a moment of light relief. This is meaningful music with substance, both in music and message, and Body Void have produced a doom metal opus here that will surely see most of their peers giving up after listening to it.

Full of harsh sounds, crushingly heavy guitars, and hypnotically destructive doom, the band create frightening and imposing blackened sludgescapes of grim darkness and torment. Slow and long, this is a mix of glacially-delivered doom, sickening sludge metal, and malignant drone, occasionally punctuated by acidic black metal frost, or crusty hardcore venom.

It’s a very textured and nuanced album, although on first listen to people that are unaccustomed to this kind of extreme doom, it might just seem like an impenetrable wall of despair and distortion. Of course, the songs have an aspect of this in their delivery, and there’s more than enough distorted waves of colossal heaviness to get trapped under, but there’s a lot more going on here than just the obvious. There’s a blackly rich tapestry of emotion and exploratory feeling that’s being slowly crafted as the album unfolds.

There’s an intensity here that’s born of a band who are channelling extreme emotions into extreme music. There’s a real emotive undercurrent to the music, despite its nasty, unfriendly veneer. Body Void don’t play nice with their songs, at all, but it’s obvious that this is an album with meaning for them, one that has a message, rather than simply being a vehicle to spew random hateful diatribes into the world. This comes across in the music and adds an extra layer of the aforementioned intensity to their delivery.

The singer’s needle-thin vocals scream out from the music in anguish and pain. Acting as the focal point for the monolithic music that is flowing around him like some form of semi-sentient predator, the singer’s performance is an embodiment of the album’s intensity just as much as the rest of the music is; more so in many ways, as here it’s compressed and focused into a narrow stream of introspective invective, loathing, and pain you can almost touch.

I Live Inside a Burning House is a powerful and disturbing work of harrowing doom/sludge art, one that may drip with malice and pain, but still has initially-concealed depths that constantly entice you further in. Harshly emotive and bleakly compelling, this is an album to explore over time, one that, ultimately, gives more than it takes.

Essential listening for any doom, drone, or sludge fan.

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