The Body – I’ve Seen All I Need to See (Review)

The Body - I've Seen All I Need to SeeThis is the eighth album from US experimental sludge band The Body.

You never quite know what you’re going to get with The Body. I’ve Seen All I Need to See contains 38 minutes of experimental music that focuses on an exploration of distortion and of the live aspect of the band’s sound. This means thundering drums, tortured guitars, and inhuman vocals, delivered in the band’s inimitable style. The instruments and performances are all then fed through The Body’s heartless industrial machine, emerging as something unhinged and distinctly atypical. The resulting songs are as impenetrably captivating as anything The Body have put their name to.

This is dark and threatening music. The songs effortlessly combine a harsh, inaccessible side with an emotive, atmospheric one. Some tracks, or sections of tracks, inevitably bring out one side of this approach more than the other, but overall it’s this juxtaposition of two opposites that works so well in the band’s music. There’s a certain amount of tension which falls out of this quite (un)naturally, and this only adds to the band’s appeal.

As befitting an album that is focused on exploring distortion, it’s the distorted and noise-based aspects of the music that drive the songs. The drums seem to somehow help to add shape and structure, protecting against noise overflow as the music unfolds. The apocalyptic sounds on this record have a life of their own though, irrespective of whether the drums are keeping them in check or not; tracks like Tied up and Locked In seem to thunder forward on their own, without need of external motivators. Other tracks like A Pain of Knowing feature minimalist percussion, essentially revelling in the use of distorted feedback and the unique vocal attack of the singer.

Speaking of the vocals, The Body’s singer is occasionally joined by two guest singers across the course of the album. This includes the delivery of abrasive screams that have a very black metal feel, which works wonderfully within the band’s musical framework.

Every time I encounter The Body I’m impressed with how they manage to craft their menacing, unfriendly sound into something that I actively want to hear over and over again. I’ve Seen All I Need to See is no different in this regard, and is yet another high quality release from this strikingly individual act.

Very highly recommended for any fan of harsh soundscapes.

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