A year ago The Body and Full of Hell released the devastatingly heavy and unsettling ‘One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache’ and it was clear from the beginning that this was a collaboration that felt it had plenty more to say, with both artists mentioning in interviews that a second album was on the way. A lot sooner than anyone could have expected, they’ve released ‘Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light’. The pairing bridge the gap between doom metal and grindcore, bringing out each other’s best qualities and the influence each band has had on the other is palpable. When Full of Hell first emerged, fresh faced, cataclysmic and chaotic, no one could have known that eight years on they’d release the triumphant ‘Trumpeting Ecstasy’ – an album that succinctly conveys the remarkable affect The Body have had on their sound, making way for thoughtful song writing and infinitely more experimentation. Equally, Full of Hell have encouraged The Body to become less reliant on their guitar sound and, in recent live performances, they have abandoned conventional instrumentation entirely.

This latest release was written and recorded in one week at Machines with Magnets in Providence, taking inspiration from reggaetón and jungle on tracks such as ‘Master’s Story’. There are some familiar guests to The Body fans, namely vocalist Chrissy Wolpert (Assembly of Light Choir) and Ben Eberle (Sandworm), as well as first-time collaborator drummer Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt, Black Pus), whom both bands share a strong aesthetic of individualism. The Body & Full of Hell have cast aside the rule book of heavy metal for ‘Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light’. Living proof that a guitar and drums aren’t necessary in the creation of music that turns stomachs and makes blood curdle, both bands are visionaries, forever expanding the boundaries of heavy music.

Samples, synth, saxophone, and a drum orchestra all pulse, and crackle, coalescing beneath the sheer enormity of the two bands. Hip hop inspired programmed drum patterns and loops are heavily distorted throughout, immaculately bolstering the distortion saturated guitars and shrieking vocals. Every aspect, though scrupulously constructed, is primitive, as the joy of extemporisation has not been restricted by editing in any way. Forever diversifying the pool of influence from which they draw from, this may be the end of the chapter that both acts write together, but is just the beginning of the story for both bands’ creative journeys.

(8/10 Angela Davey)