Album review: Body Void – Atrocity Machine

Absolute horror, unremitting heaviness and zero hope on fourth apocalyptic statement from U.S. crushers Body Void (yes, it’s really good).

Album review: Body Void – Atrocity Machine
Nick Ruskell

There’s heavy, and then you’ve got Body Void. The New England-via-San Francisco trio have already got a name for raw, crawling, lower-than-low-tuned noise, thanks to three albums of horrible, gnarly sludge that unambiguously do away with any idea that there’s a good time to be had with it, but even by their own standards, Atrocity Machine is unpleasantly, brilliantly, lightlessly ugly. It is the sound of Hell.

Humming around a central theme of capitalist horror, police brutality and fascist creep, every swamp-ish, ultra-slow riff and tortured vocal pisses sheer desperation and fearful nihilism. When everything strikes at once in a terrifying tattoo, the guitars and bass are so overloaded it sounds like bombs dropping. On top of opener Human Greenhouse, a digital noise pierces through (and to call it a melody would be to imply it’s got even the potential to sound nice) and stays there, scratching away, to the point where you might actually freak out. On Divine Violence, meanwhile, a sudden burst of blasting speed is less a moment of respite breaking the walls of punishing feedback, but having your captor spin you around to further disorient your already fried brain.

Unpleasant? Duh. And it properly tries to pull you down in it as well. In this, Body Void are actual geniuses. This isn’t actually doom, or sludge, or drone, it’s a broken mirror to hopeless times, an expression of anxiety to which there is no cure, an impassioned, terrified scream against circumstance in which a person cannot realistically prosper. Weirdly, it’s too aggressive about it all to be despondent, flowing with a boiling, scalding rage that never lets up and gives it its petrol-bomb energy. In a world of atrocity, Body Void have made the album it deserves here.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Burning Witch, Primitive Man, Full Of Hell

Atrocity Machine is released on October 13 via Prosthetic

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