Listening to I’ve Seen All I Need To See—the latest album from Portland avant-garde metal duo The Body, which drops January 29 via Thrill Jockey Records—feels like peering into a metaphysical void while also somehow becoming increasingly unable to look away.

The tensely stormy but consistently forward-moving album feels, at times, hypnotic, as the feedback-drenched songs explore precarious emotional areas with a stern persistence.

Within the world of this latest effort from The Body, there’s not really a sense of resolution, no sudden arrival at a place of catharsis or bliss. Instead, the duo (drummer Lee Buford and guitarist/vocalist Chip King) focus entirely on the stunning breadth of the searing emotional chaos that spreads across I’ve Seen All I Need To See

The songs sit with the churning metaphysical malaise like a solitary voice in the wilderness, as thoroughly chilling winds rush through the surroundings. The Body’s commitment to the themes at the center of their latest album feels unflinching and all-encompassing, emphasized by heavily distorted guitar and drums.

The album’s opening track, “A Lament,” leans on a resounding drum rhythm that feels like a grimly majestic processional. As the tension builds across the sometimes-rather-bombastic, mid-tempo song, “A Lament” ends up feeling like it reflects an experience akin to banging on the doors of heaven—if such doors were to exist. Here and elsewhere on the record, there’s a grim undertow and a rich drama that unfolds, expanding the caustic, searing sound into a rather rich experience. 

“Tied Up and Locked In” features a vicious, confrontational rhythm, and The Body venture well on from there. During “A Pain of Knowing,” the duo hold onto notes with a vice grip, performing a kind of sorrowful and hazy drone metal, while “The Handle/The Blade” leans back into a more briskly paced drum rhythm.

Through all of these tracks, the feedback doesn’t let up, and that element of the album rather aptly furthers the overall experience. These songs feel coarsened and haggard, and amidst this presentation, the diverse elements—including the effects—feel rather symbiotic, as if the album is a fully-formed organism in which every component is essential.

Much of I’ve Seen All I Need To See reflects states of serious tension, but The Body continue to intensely expand their palette and dynamics beyond this baseline, unearthing a kind of grimy grandeur at the center of the entrancing experience.

Purchase I’ve Seen All I Need To See here.

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