Photograph by William Lacalmontie / Simon Kallas /Sven Harambašić
ABSENT IN BODY make their Relapse Records debut with the terrifying new album Plague God, out March 25, 2022 on LP/CD/CS/Digital (pre-orders available here).
Featuring current and former members of AMENRA, NEUROSIS, and SEPULTURA, Plague God is 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.
Mathieu Vandekerckhove comments:
“We had not imposed any limitations or boundaries on ourselves to create this music.
Everything happened without any compromise, we gathered and let inspiration run freely.
It is the beauty and the strength of this album.”
Iggor Cavalera comments:
“It feels great to collaborate with such forward-thinking minds like Colin, Mathieu, and Scott on AIB. The music is dense and slowly brutal, very similar to the times we are living.”
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 album from Absent In Body – the oppressive, 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 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 it’s 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 emerging from foreboding, near-subsonic oscillations to explode in a tide of corrosive riffs and feral howls, through “Sarin’s” steadfast, procession-through-purgatory groove, to “The Half Rising Man’s” matrix of organic/mechanic evolution, it’s an album 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.
Recorded and produced by Tim De Gieter, Much luv studio BE