Body Void/Keeper – Split (Review)

Body Void Keeper - SplitBody Void and Keeper are both US doom/sludge bands, and they have teamed up to deliver this split.

Both Body Void, (I Live Inside a Burning House/You Will Know the Fear You Forced upon Us), and Keeper, (Split with Sea Bastard/The Space Between Your Teeth/Split with Old Witch), have released some sterling doom releases over the years, so both of them together in one place is reason to be very excited indeed.

We start with Body Void, who give us the song Androgyne, a 14-minute behemoth.

As you’d expect from Body Void, Androgyne is colossally heavy and wickedly bludgeoning. The feedback-drenched distortion sounds like a heavier Knanate, only one that’s also capable of speeding things up on occasion. This happens on Androgyne roughly halfway through, where the band break into crushing crusty speed. Even when playing blast beats, the band are still heavy as Hell. Body Void’s music seems to be powered by a rage that fuels the slabs of vicious glacial sludge with burning hatred and passionate righteous anger. The band’s songs are more on the destructively angry side of the doom scale, rather than the despondent, mournful one; Androgyne is a great example of this, and another extremely strong outing for the band.

Keeper have been noticeably lacking in new releases since 2015, so I’m especially pleased to hear some new work from them. They offer two tracks, clocking in at a total just shy of 18 minutes.

Although ostensibly similar in style to Body Void, Keeper’s music is bleaker and more despondent. The band manage to combine harshness and heaviness with a form of harrowing atmosphere, both bludgeoning the listener and wearing them down through attrition. Opening track Trial & Error does this very well, mixing slow, tension-filled mood with groovier aggression and forlorn atmospheres. There’s even some dark melody here, and some unexpected surprises too. Trial & Error is 10 minutes of emotive nastiness, and a great way to reintroduce the world to Keeper’s music. The following track – Twenty – is seven minutes of barren drone, with hope-draining guitar, feedback, other noises, and piercing screams. It’s an unforgiving and merciless display of sonic warfare.

Releases like this are one of the reasons why I love running this site. I urge you to check this out, as doom/sludge fans should rejoice at this.

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