All The Waters Of The Earth Turn To Blood
posted on 7/2010 By:
All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood is the second full length album by Providence, Rhode Island’s The Body, and it is the kind of album that makes me toss by normal reviewing method right out the window. Combining minimalistic and droning sludge anti-music with an experimental tendency many would describe as avant-garde, the only thing conventional about this duo is the currently popular tendency for being unconventional. Well, that and their beards.
A wagering man would be wise to place their cash on the probability that The Body is associated locally with hazy and incredibly loud shows. Uncomfortably loud, bowel-loosening shows. After all, taking the band on only their sludge elements reveals a certain affinity to the more active Sunn O))) parts, a touch of Eyehategod in the vocals (minus the drunken New Orleans feel), and the esoteric nature of acts like Grief. It is all presented through a washed-out production that removes much of the heaviness but adds worlds of atmosphere.
But as mentioned above, the band focuses just as much on an artistic presence and spooky nature, most prominently through the not-quite-chanted and not-quite-wailed airy female vocals that introduce album-opener “The Body” for seven minutes. The sludge finally joins in, but this track shows what much of All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood is: a deconstruction of The Body’s total sound. Only at a few select times do they go full bore with screams, heavy sludge, wordless female vocals, and pounding drumming. Most of the time it is one element, two elements, or a strange diversion into artistic/drugged-out territory, depending on how you view it. As is often the case with this style, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Certain tracks have that eerie Monoliths & Dimensions horror movie vibe (“Lathspell I Name You”), others create a moderately engrossing half-groove (“A Curse”), and others still are just annoying (“Empty Hearth” sounds like an auctioneer in a PCP fury). As a whole, the album shows some success when it is treated as spectral background noise to reading a surrealistic work of fiction, or to some other activity many of you likely partake in.
Scoring All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood is damn near pointless. After all, it’s not like anyone actually sits around by themselves listening to John Cage albums all day (look him up), and The Body share a trait with the avant-garde master in that they are often more an artistic statement of mood than real music. As such, that score up there is really only a balance of the tracks that are enjoyable versus the ones that aren’t. I can neither honestly recommend nor entirely damn this slab of strangeness, so copout as it may be, you may just have to decide for yourself with an extended Myspace session.
It should also be noted that I don’t smoke drugs.
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