Absent In Body announce debut record, Plague God, out on March 25th via Relapse Records
In an era overrun by information, misinformation, unseen algorithms and viral contagion, to seek out what’s truly human in the face of overwhelming and unfathomable forces has perhaps become our most sacred of tasks. It’s an impulse that lies at the very heart of Plague God, the debut record from Absent In Body, the oppressive and industrial-driven collaboration by members of Amenra, Neurosis and Sepultura. Bound by the same ideals of unity and fearlessly uncompromising honesty of expression that have driven their respective bands to imperious heights of reverence and groundbreaking sonic deliverance, Plague God is by turns devastating and sublime, drawn from musicians for whom life and art are inextricably bound.
Initially the brainchild of Amenra guitarist Mathieu J. Vandekerckhove and Neurosis vocalist/guitarist Scott Kelly, Absent In Body were formed in 2017. Immediately recognising their kinship, and with Amenra frontman Colin H. Van Eeckhout brought in on vocals and bass, what emerged is a reflection of the intervening years of turbulence, extending its scope as it navigates across five stretches of unstable terrain. From the opening “Rise From Ruins” with ex-Sepultura drummer, Iggor Cavalera’s tribal beat emerge from foreboding and near-subsonic oscillations to explode in a tide of corrosive riffs and feral howls, and through “Sarin”, with its steadfast, procession-through-purgatory groove, to the matrix of organic/mechanic evolution present in “The Half Rising Man”, this is a record in constant dialogue between the animalistic, the human and the industrial, and a hunger to distill a truth, something unpolluted from the fray. Protest music is often perceived as a petition, or a counter-argument against a controlling force. There is another sense of protest, though, that of a machine under stress: articulating the pressures weighing down on it by means of an involuntary, primal response. It’s these states of critical mass at which we must truly find ourselves, under duress maybe, but unblinded and alive. Plague God doesn’t just give voice to these moments of truth, but in the band’s deep kinship integral to every claustrophobic judder, every stretch of atmospheric dread and helpless alias assumed, lies a freedom we both forget and attain at our peril. Below this article you can check the video for the first single off of Plague God, entitled “The Acres/The Ache”, which was filmed and edited by Mathieu J. Vandekerckhove.
Plague God will be released on March 25th via Relapse Records. Physical and digital pre-orders are now available here.
Photo credit: William Lacalmontie, Simon Kallas and Sven Harambašić