So, I live a pretty easy life as a straight while male. Honestly, what societal worries do I have? I never go anywhere and fear for my life, I never have anyone screaming in my face or on my social media about my personal life and my sexual orientation, and I can go anywhere and to whatever show I want and remain anonymous and unscathed. None of this is lost on me.
But I’m wholly aware this is not the case for many people—women, people of different races, the LGBTQIA community—and it’s a great reason why my leftist political mind-set has been set ablaze watching people be attacked for no good reason other than they differ from what another human thinks, does, and believes. But again, I’m not a victim in this. Instead, let’s shift to the amazing San Francisco-based sludge doom band Body Void, who have tackled issues such as depression, societal pressures, and gender identity in their relatively short time as a band. We have a new two-song EP from the band called “You Will Know the Fear You Forced Upon Us,” a title that should be readily obvious in its intent. Guitarist/vocalist Will Ryan is queer, non-binary, and they made that no secret, nor did they hide the fact that there are daily pressures and scaring experiences that go along with that. That is all packed into the two tracks that each run about 20 minutes in length (a Body Void EP is longer than some bands’ LPs!) and vary some from last year’s excellent “I Live Inside a Burning House” while also remaining close enough to that for familial effect.
“Die Off” runs 19:43 and begins the record already in the midst of pulverizing tones, terrifying screams, and a smothering heaviness that’ll make you see stars. It’s ungodly heavy, pushing and punishing slowly, making you feel each strike, laying waste to whatever is in its aim. Noise sizzles as the low-end rumbles thanks to Parker Ryan’s bass and Eddy Holgerdon’s punishing drumming. The smashing chaos calms some, while the bass echoes, and the band bashes in heads. As the song winds toward its final minutes, the pace suddenly gets pushed hard, feeling almost like a hardcore song before it erodes into a slow buzz that gets swallowed by a fog.
Closer “Fascist Cancer” lasts a neat 19 minutes and opens with a purpose, letting the intensity boil to the surface before the song settles into a calculated assault that bends muscle. Scathing cries can curdle the blood in your veins, while the pounding slips into a fuzzy nightmare that still manages to leave bruising. Drone riffs arrive like a crippling storm, hanging overhead and pushing you to madness and suffocation. The track slows again and drags you across the surface, with screams reigning, the earth seemingly splitting open, and hell bubbling to the surface. Noises pierce while the band hammers away at its enemies, while a new burst of speedy chaos ripples through and leaves everything choking in black dust.
The day when we look back on the bullshit everyone who isn’t a cis white male had to face as a bad time we passed by might be further in the future, but bands such as Body Void are fighting the valiant battle now to help other people who are suffering. “You Will Know the Fear You Forced Upon Us” is a damaged and furious burst that refuses to lie down and accept the pain and instead vows to make those who create fear have an even larger helping of it for themselves. Body Void are a band that has their hands reached out to others as we fight back against fascism and oppressive viewpoints that deserve to die.
For more on the band, go here:
To buy the album (CD version), go here: https://seeingredrecords.bandcamp.com/album/body-void-you-will-know-the-fear-you-forced-upon-us
For more on the label, go here: http://www.seeingredrecords.com/
And here: https://crownandthroneltd.bandcamp.com/
And here: https://www.drycoughrecords.com