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Music / The Body

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The dudes themselves; Chip King (left) and Lee Buford (right).

The Body are an American experimental Sludge Metal band. Consisting of core duo Chip King (guitars, vocals) and Lee Buford (drums) and featuring a recurring cast of collaborators, the band are known for their punishingly heavy sound, experimental touches (including gospel choirs and electronic elements), and an atmosphere of unrelenting hatred and nihilism. To date, the group has released 5 albums, along with a number of EPs and collaboration records with other bands, including Full of Hell, Thou, and Krieg.

The band's releases include:

  • The Body (2004)
  • Cop Killer/Dead Cops (EP) (2005)
  • All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood (2010)
  • Nothing Passes (collaboration with Braveyoung) (2011)
  • The Cold, Suffocating Dark Goes on Forever, And We Are Alone (EP) (2012)
  • Christs, Redeemers (2013)
  • Master, We Perish (EP) (2013)
  • I Shall Die Here (2014)
  • Released From Love (collaboration with Thou) (2014)
  • You, Whom I Have Always Hated (collaboration with Thou) (2015)
  • xoroAHbin (collaboration with Vampilia) (2015)
  • The Body and Krieg (collaboration with Krieg) (2015)
  • One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache (collaboration with Full of Hell) (2016)
  • No One Deserves Happiness (2016)
  • Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light (collaboration with Full of Hell) (2017)
  • I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer (2018)
  • Mental Wounds Not Healing (collaboration with Uniform) (2018)
  • O God who avenges, shine forth. Rise up, Judge of the Earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve. (2018)
  • Everything That Dies Someday Comes Back (collaboration with Uniform) (2019)
  • I've Seen All I Need to See (2021)
  • Leaving None But Small Birds (collaboration with Big|Brave) (2021)
  • Enemy of Love (collaboration with OAA) (2022)
  • Orchards of a Futile Heaven (collaboration with Dis Fig) (2024)

This band provides examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: A rare example of one located outside the album: "The Vision" contains the lyrics "All the waters of the earth turn to blood."
  • Arc Words: "The night knows no dawn", which first showed up on I Shall Die Here and later appeared on No One Deserves Happiness.
  • Boléro Effect: Used to great effect on "Prescience".
  • Careful with That Axe: Chip King is really good at this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both main members, as seen in interviews.
  • Driven to Suicide: This gets brought up a lot. I Shall Die Here contains multiple speech samples drawn from suicide hotlines.
  • Drone of Dread: A lot of their stuff features this heavily, particularly I Shall Die Here.
  • Epic Rocking: Some of their songs run pretty long, the longest being "The Manic Fire" at over 16 minutes.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: "The Vision", which draws heavily from the Book of Revelation. There's a pretty apocalyptic theme to All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood as well.
  • Genre-Busting: They have elements of sludge metal, dark ambient, noise, industrial, electronic, and even pop music.
  • Harsh Noise: "For You", as well as the entirety of I've Seen All I Need To See.
  • Harsh Vocals: A uniquely disturbing flavor that The Needle Drop once described as sounding "Like a mutant pig man being tortured to death in an underground cellar." Chip's vocal style is very similar to John Gossard of Weakling.
  • Horrible History Metal: "Song of Sarin the Brave" is based on the 1995 sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo Subway System. Some shirts for the band actually feature a mugshot of Shoko Asahara, leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult that carried out the attacks.
  • Lighter and Softer: No One Deserves Happiness to their previous releases, which is slightly less abrasive and features more female vocals. They said they wanted to write "The grossest pop album of all time."
  • Literary Allusion Title: "Lathspell I Name You" to The Lord of the Rings, I Shall Die Here to V for Vendetta. note 
  • Lonely Piano Piece: "The Fall and the Guilt" is this paired with a Drone of Dread.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Both of them appear this way on the cover of All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: A recurring theme in their lyrics, along with Straw Nihilist and Driven to Suicide.
  • Mood Whiplash: All the goddamn time. Particularly notable is "A Body", which begins with almost seven minutes of a heavenly gospel choir before transitioning into grinding sludge metal with almost no warning.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: The band doesn't even bother with a bassist.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Most of it provided by the Assembly of Light Women's Choir.
  • Scary Musician, Harmless Music: Inverted, like with most extreme metal bands. Their music is intensely heavy and nihilistic, but the guys themselves are very laid back and friendly people who enjoy hanging out with fans.
  • Sensory Abuse: Between the grinding feedback-laden guitars and Chip's anguished howling, they're a pretty challenging listen to say the least.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Lathspell I Name You" is named after a line in The Lord of the Rings.
    • One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache is a line from the song "Doll Parts" by Hole.
  • Soprano and Gravel: They like to add in female vocals to contrast against the general ugliness of the band's sound.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Mostly done with samples taken from cult leaders or people talking about killing themselves, though "Prescience" begins with guest vocalist Chrissy Wolpert reading an excerpt from the novel Suicide by Edouard Leve.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "A Body" (or at least the first seven minutes), "I, The Mourner of Perished Days", and "The Fall and the Guilt."
    • "The Vision" isn't even remotely a metal song, instead being a gospel/folk song that slowly devolves into creepy dark ambient.
  • Textless Album Cover: All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood.
  • True Companions: Lee Buford and Chip King.