The Body Continue the Tradition of Bold Collaborations with Vampillia
Late Sunday night, my single favorite mustached bear who happens to write for this very blog messaged me to let me know that on June 20th, sludge alchemists The Body will be releasing a new collaboration with Japanese weirdos Vampillia. This collaborative effort marks the second partnership of 2015 and the third since the beginning of 2014 (excluding split records). Only one track from xoroAHbin, the mysterious “Chikatilo” has been unveiled so far, and you can hear it right here.
The Body’s proclivity towards collaborations fascinates me. The band has never lacked for creativity on their own, so I find it exceedingly interesting that they would seek out other artists with whom to share songwriting responsibilities. Aside from a split with Sandworm, The Body dropped one very interesting collaboration in 2014, the menacingly titled I Shall Die Here. The record saw The Body working with electronic artist Haxan Cloak to layer wave upon wave of industrial menace atop The Body’s already horrifyingly thick sludge. The record was exceptionally imposing, but I found myself longing a bit for the bleak metallic nihilism of The Body’s more traditional albums like All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood.
Earlier this year, The Body teamed up with fellow swamp things Thou to spread the slime with the full version of You, Whom I Have Always Hated (also containing the short collaborative EP Released from Love). Although I gave this album a positive review (and stand by it), something about the partnership felt a bit uneven and left me wishing that there had been more of The Body and less of Thou on the release. Still, there were moments of pure brilliance on the record, and it’s hard to deny the emotive potency of this stunning take on Vic Chesnutt‘s “Coward”.
Knowing The Body’s somewhat unbalanced track record with collaborations, should you be excited about this partnership with Vampillia? Yes, because, Vampillia are brilliant.
Although I’ve seen the Japanese band branded black metal, in truth, only a few of their songs fit that description. Avant-garde rock, or maybe even performance art, may be a more apt label. Typical Vampillia releases are anything but typical, with the band seamlessly melding classical music, black metal, choral chanting, traditional Japanese folk music, industrial drones, and eerie ambient sound effects into a dire, immediate package dripping with urgency and earnestness. Every piece of music written by the band is replete with atmosphere, and at times while listening my jaw dropped at the force of the geyser-like drumming or the melancholic beauty of the shredding violin. Words fail to describe the sound Vampillia conjures, but they are always interesting and exciting.
As on the other collaborations, “Chikatilo” seems to indicate that The Body are taking a backseat to the artistic endeavors of their partners. Chip’s signature shrieks are present, but there’s an almost devastating beauty to the electronic crunch summoned by Vampillia on the track. I’m beyond curious to hear how the full length plays out.
I can’t read Japanese so I’m not entirely certain, but it appears that you can order xoroAHbin on Vampillia’s website. Alternatively, keep an eye on the group’s Bandcamp and Facebook pages. Check out “Chikatilo” and let me know what you think in the comments.