Saturday 4 January 2020

REVIEW: Body Void / Keeper, Split 12"

By: Brandon Noga

Album Type: Split 12”
Date Released: 15/01/2020
Label: Roman Numeral |
Tridroid Records

Body Void / Keeper Split 12” track listing:

1). Body Void, Androgyne
2). Keeper, Trial & Error
3). Keeper, Twenty

The Review:

Claustrophobia don’t listen to this if you suffer from it; you’ll only get anxiety from this envelopment of feedback and primal shrieking, reminiscent of a being who’s lost everything but their last breath. 

Side A opens with a tribal tom-beat, heralding the feedback this band applies with aplomb: as necessary as the crushing riffs that promise to follow on any Body Void release. This recording is no different, and bludgeons you over the head almost immediately; 30 seconds in, most would be clawing to escape (according to my very musically supportive and open minded mother I’m staying with for the holidays, with a smile and a frown).

The tones and mixing job are pure ear candy for gear nerds like myself, which Body Void has pretty much perfected over the last few releases. Sunn Beta Lead heads + a Boss Hyper Fuzz? Sign me up. Just enough clarity to hear the diminished chords and muted chugs, and enough syrupy fuzz to please any Canadian. Trust me, I am one. 

The feedback laden drops they employ have matured pleasantly, involving an off-kilter timing. A mid tempo riff/beat ensues, and I’m destroying a room in an abandoned building in my mind in quick order. These cats blast away, before tossing slabs of concrete directly at your face. Oh, and the riff comes back: slower. Fuck.

It all ends with some Conan type weight, just to make sure you’re good and 6 feet under. This release clearly shows the trajectory these morticians are on, and I personally cannot wait to hear more. 

Flip over to side b and we’re greeted with yet more feedback. Christopher (my drummer for Ogimaa) suggested the Keeper split with Sea Bastard awhile back, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear a balance of sludge-infused riffs and blackened elements: this release is no different. 

The vocals are as harsh as ever, and the tones are spot on for the genre; with improved mixing from earlier efforts. Again, you can hear the growth of the band from previous records; which is crucial to any successful outfit making noise. The mix of single note riffs combined with the use of octave chords really creates a new weight to contend with. Any drummer would be satisfied with the kick drum in the mix, making sure each note and accent has the mass of a wrecking ball. Seven minutes in, we're thrown for a loop with bomb-note chugging and a reverb drenched melody; only to revert back to a minor chord black metal passage guiding us to the end.

Track 2 (“Twenty”) is a black pit. The guitar and bass drone behind a plague sermon being spat, until they give way to make you notice the massive crater, they seem to have drawn you in. The vocals get even more strained, while a humming current keeps you drifting in the ocean at night. Yes. You are alone.  It’s a passionate effort, and I’m sure vocal chords the world over would agree.

Overall, Keeper is continuing to impress. This split will definitely be in my yearly playlist and should be in yours. Onward to a sludge ridden 2020.

Preorder are available HERE (LP)  & HERE (Cassette)

Band info: Body Void || Keeper