Nobody quite does beautiful nightmares like when The Body and Full of Hell get together. Their first collaboration, last year’s excellent One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache touched on (use some context clues here) inescapable pain, highlighting how caustic and singularly noisy sludge maestros The Body and grindcore masters Full of Hell could be when they worked together. Their sound wasn’t so much a mix of their two different styles as a bold new (horrifying) direction; yet, it wasn’t fragmented in the slightest. These artists clearly had an impressive sense of how to fuse their abilities together to create something more marvelous and terrifying than they do on their own. Giving the topic of the album, their first collaboration was the musical equivalent of the New French Extremity – all focused on causing as much pain and frustration as possible.
Their latest, in contrast, is more about breaking through boundaries and embracing freedom. There’s a surreal, dream-like effect that is occasionally broken by sheer sonic violence in the form of Full of Hell’s potent death/grind marches. It’s like Heavy Light is the most beautiful slasher, like if Halloween or Hellraiser were re-directed as an art film. The record is a masterclass in pushing boundaries; my God, this is loud, but it’s somehow almost soothing and, it’s really weird to say, but it’s almost beautiful. The rampant grind of “Earth Is A Cage” is as close as this gets to outright metal, and it’s fucking gorgeous in its violence and aggression, almost melodic in the weirdest way. “Master’s Story” is downright fun, sort of danceable in its embrace of industrial noise. That’s certainly an obvious takeaway here, that these collaborators are even more comfortable going outside their own norms (whatever those are by now) and using electronic templates to make music that’s barely metal in legalistic genre terms but really fucking metal in the way it plays out.
Heavy Light is certainly not easy listening, but The Body & Full of Hell’s second collaboration is a wonder of extremity, taking their sludge and grindcore styles to their illogical limit and painting a horror masterpiece in the process.