Think of the heaviest album you’ve heard. Maybe it was the instruments, the tone, the content or just a general, pervasive feeling of unease. Roll all of those into one and you’ll just about be approaching the unholy racket of Body Void. Their first pair of albums saw them addressing topics as disparate as dreams, death and gender identity but with third outing Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth, they’ve turned their gaze outwards to the world, penning four musings on the impacts of capitalism, colonialism and environmental collapse.
Blending doom, sludge and all manner of abrasive noise, Bury Me… is a series of long-form diatribes against the ills of the modern world. Opener ‘Wound’ hits with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the cranium and it never truly lets up from there. Eschewing the more traditional verse/bridge/chorus song structure, tracks instead feel like living organisms that change and grow much more organically than they perhaps did before. There’s a sense of musical progression from their earlier works without sacrificing their core identity and sound that’s developed over the years.
‘Laying Down In A Forest Fire’ is a microcosm - if one of only four thirteen minute songs can be called that - of the album as a whole. Moving from atmospheric doom to virulent sludge, while also roping in blackened tremolo, it channels its rage at those who turn their back on the dire consequences of their actions, often giant, inhumane corporations. Lyrics like “The problem’s not yours / You’re here to win / Burn / The house / The lord is out” make abundantly clear the issues the planet and its people faces to avoid climate catastrophe, all the while backdropped by devastating riffs and drum work.
Penultimate track ‘Fawn’ is all crawling sludgy mire with its tone being thicker than tar and seemingly designed to suffocate the unwary as wave after wave hammers down in an endless tide. Closing with ‘Pale Man’, Body Void turn their focus from the environment and disaster capitalism to colonialism and the suffering wrought upon the world by the pale man of the title. “Pale man he comes / Across the ocean / He brings disease / White supremacy” and “Pale man he comes / He’s headed this way / He’ll enter your house / And claim it’s his own” make abundantly clear the devastation wrought upon indigenous peoples across the world who have been victims of empire-building by various countries, this time soundtracked by filth-encrusted guitars and slow but purposeful pounding drums.
Oftentimes riffs will collapse into squalls of feedback or morph to something new entirely just as they find their rhythm. It ensures there’s a constant sense of unease and dread to the album’s fury, as if channelling the rage of the planet rather than that of the songs’ creators. Rather than dealing in nihilism and defeatism, though, Body Void instead are much more realist in their approach. Pointing the finger squarely at the legacy of colonialism along with capitalist exploitation, Bury Me… is never opaque in its critique, nor does it admit defeat. Instead it’s an album that uses its every breath, from its first to its final, to rage against the dying of the light as the world burns and people feel the effects of hundreds of years’ worth of exploitation and oppression. Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth is not a comfortable listen; it’s ugly, violent and disturbing - but it is essential listening.