Thou & the Body, Hell, Ash Borer, Hate | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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The Body

The Body

Thou & the Body, Hell, Ash Borer, Hate 

When: Thu., July 17, 8:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $12, $10 in advance
Oregon experimental-metal duo the Body—Chip King on guitar and vocals, Lee Buford on drums and electronics—released two collaborative records in April. For the harsh, weird I Shall Die Here (RVNG) they strayed far from their rock roots, teaming up with British electronic artist the Haxan Cloak (who plays Pitchfork on Friday) to make music that sounds like a noisy fried circuit, heavy on samples, synths, glitches, and postproduction deconstruction. At the other end of the spectrum is the dark and heavy Released From Love (Vinyl Rites), which pairs the Body with sludgy Louisiana postdoom band Thou. Its four epic, glacial movements punctuate Thou’s chunky, Sabbathy guitars with Buford’s abrasive electronics and King’s high-pitched vocal stabs; the best track, “In Meetings Hearts Beat Closer,” summons an inhuman black-metal vibe straight out of 90s Norway with reptilian shrieks and chilly, dissonant guitars, then explodes into a doomy, behind-the-beat dirge. These two metal monsters have been touring as a single seven-person unit to support this record, and their live renditions of its songs should shake the nails out of the walls. The Body are painfully loud on their own, and this set will add three more guitars—earplugs are highly recommended. —Luca Cimarusti

Northern California quintet Ash Borer specialize in cosmic, cold, tranced-out black metal, full of dreamy, droning overtones with just a hint of shoegaze—as long as those shoes are evil pointy boots, of course. Since forming in 2008 they’ve put out two justly praised full-lengths—a self-titled 2011 album and 2012’s Cold of Ages—and their most recent release is the 2013 EP Bloodlands (Gilead Media). Its swirling, sweeping twin-guitar riffs howl like bitter winds, around and above vocals buried so far down in the mix that they function as simply another layer of texture—sometimes you might even wonder if you’re hallucinating them. “Oblivion’s Spring” is the more ethereal of the EP’s two tracks, relying on elaborately constructed atmosphere for its horror; the nearly 20-minute “Dirge/Purgation” alternates between funereal grandeur and a vicious, pummeling gallop. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to folks who like noise and drone, even if they aren’t huge metal fans—but that’s not to say it isn’t metal to the core. —Monica Kendrick

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