Originally emerging from the same notable Rhode Island bedlam that unleashed Lightning Bolt, adventurous duo the Body have roots that are deep in metal and noise. But over time, they’ve evolved into a categorically experimental heavy act, transcending either of those boxes with a remarkably wide horizon that’s been known to feature electronics, beats, dark ambience and tendrils of dissonance that stretch out into the bleak industrial fringe.
Live, however, their recent Orlando performance kept it more head-on with a raw and undivided attack that comes on like an avalanche of sludge and polluted electronics. Hitting with the force of depth charges, their sonic dread is the soundtrack to the bowels of a volcano.
Across releases on prime labels like Thrill Jockey, Sacred Bones, At A Loss and Neurot, the Body have etched a powerful and unique space on the frontier of heavy music. And what little company they have in their class is the cream.
Tourmate and frequent collaborator Lingua Ignota is the musical project of Rhode Island’s Kristin Hayter, a classical vocalist turned experimental hellraiser. As an artist, she comes openly as an abuse survivor. And she comes hard, with a sound and show that manifest that torment.
Musically, she blends noise, elemental industrial and haunting piano dirges. Vocally, her torture can levitate like a cathedral ghost one moment then blister and peel with its black-metal fury the next. Together, they make harrowing odysseys of pain and drama.
Live, Lingua Ignota cuts to the bone. With her whole rig set up offstage on the floor, she began, illuminated only by a few simple studio lamps. Gradually, she wandered the crowd, laying the lamps on the ground here and there between people, giving the room an immediate sense of ceremony. But by the set’s climax, her body had reclaimed all the lights into a vortex of violence and self-flagellation.
Avowedly, Hayter comes from an abused perspective. But in their sheer power and wrath, her music and performance are as much exorcism as they are revolt. And her show is one of the most visceral displays around, one that was definitely putting some people here in a trance of awe. Hell hath no fury indeed, and it brought down the house.
Local opener was Freakazoid, who, thankfully, haven’t mellowed one bit. Their rock acrobatics are equal parts ferocity and ADHD, seldom sticking to one gear for long and willing to zig on a dime from doom to thrash to sludge to hardcore, practically anything that falls into the heavy genre.
Between just the two members, they can even span both death- and black-metal vocal ranges in the same song. But amid all the frenzy, their assault is woven together with some post-hardcore strangeness and intellect.