Welcome to today’s review of The Body‘s I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer and it is a special occasion because this record has been so dear to It Djents that we decided to review it by two writers simultaneously. Enjoy:
Experimentation has been something that has been important in art for as long as art has existed. Often it is not welcomed as the change a scene might need, some paintings were slandered so hard the people said it would make pregnant women lose their children. Still, pioneers pushed for change throughout history, some because they saw potential in doing this differently, others to best themselves. Today we will look at a duo I like to call pioneers, a duo whose works have brought me great joy in my search for ever-evolving sounds. Today’s review is about The Body. Their album I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer will be released on the 11th of May.
Right from the first track on I was blown away and surprised to hear a very familiar voice. On this LP The Body has collaborated with experimental artist Lingua Ignota, whose own debut is also a pillar of modern experimental music. Her angelic vocals, which manage to still get a fierceness across, are a perfect contrast to the high-pitched vocals and pulsating noisy drone on the track “Can Carry No Weight”. With the addition of strings, synth-trumpets and other instruments, The Body has made an album almost resembling a film score, an opus of art.
On “The West Has Failed” the band moves back to what they know and what they do best, a whole lot of noise. The track is completely obliterated by distorted bass and screeching vocals while featuring electro pop drums that at points even change to a trap style hip hop kit. Dynamic and atmospheric, this song is one of the catchiest and most memorable on the record. While being a lot more experimental here, the duo seems less artsy as on their last effort, which makes the overall sound more grounded and laid back.
Of course laid back is only relative to their own discography because I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer walks the very thin line between eccentric and art very well. “An Urn” flips the sound established prior and dishes out Sunn O)))-esque drones with huge atmospheres while synth-trumpets and 8-bit instruments underneath try to push their beautiful melodies through the crust of the distortion before failing and being swallowed whole. Of course Lingua Ignota delivers a harrowing monologue about loss and return, to round things off.
I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer is one of my favorite works by The Body as it builds a solid foundation for their style and feels like the duo is completely confident and comfortable with what they do. It is art incarnated, period.
Personal Score: 9/10
In the world of experimental metal, few acts have risen as high as Rhode Island’s The Body. Over the past 14 years they have been quite prolific, releasing several LP’s EP’s, and additional collaborative releases as well. Their latest effort, I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer sees their atmospheric and dense style of metal add new dimensions and compositional elements. Along with the extreme vocals and vocalizations, orchestral moments, and thunderous drumming, collaborator Lingua Ignota adds riveting moments throughout the album with her haunting and theatrical vocals.
If you’re at all familiar with The Body then you’ll have a general idea of what to expect sonically on this record. There are bits of industrial, post-metal, and art rock woven through most of the songs which creates some massive soundscapes with impenetrable atmosphere. The opening track “The Last Form Of Loving” begins with a slow burn that’ll be very familiar with fans of post-rock. As the track builds we get the added layer of Lingua Ignota bringing the track to conclusion. The effect of her vocals can’t really be understated. The unsettling juxtaposition immediately gets under the skin and begins worming its way into the brain.
After the opener, The Body ups the intensity with the industrial side of things growing into a massive, pulsating wall of sound. “Party Alive” and “the West Has Failed” are loud and fuzzy compositions that are rife with noise, screams, and insatiable woe. What these songs lack in tempo, they more than make up for them with presence and attitude. This is where this band excels: noisy atmosphere that’s borderline cinematic, but never boring. If the somewhat tame post-rock outings of the year haven’t quite quenched your thirst for a sonic assault, then look no further.
One of the absolute standouts of I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer comes near the middle of the track list. “Nothing Stirs” features Lingua Ignota throughout the duration of the song. Her desperate, retching, and heartbreaking vocal performance is one of the best I have heard this year. Her range is immaculate and without any hint of irony she can sell these emotional lyrics flawlessly. The instrumentation is subtle and takes a support role completely to ensure that the vocals are the star of the show. It’s one of the best tracks on the record, and will be going in the playlist of my favorite songs of the year.
The back half of the record is also loaded with memorable tracks such as “Blessed, Alone” and “Sickly Heart Of Sand” which show the range of what The Body can accomplish with their toolkit. At times bombastic and at others subtle and quite, the dynamics of the record are without a doubt what will keep my coming back to this album long after this review is published. There are far more hits than misses on the album, with the misses just being some recycled ideas that crop up throughout many of the tracks diluting their impact. The collaboration with Lingua Ignota proved to pay off in spades adding even another layer of complexity and richness an already impressive palette. Don’t miss this one.
Personal Score: 9/10
Average Score: 9/10
Notable Tracks: “The West Has Failed”, “An Urn”, “Blessed Alone”
FFO: It’s The Body