I am always on the lookout for bands that add a little extra atmosphere into their sound, which is why I like bands like Deathspell Omega, Neurosis, and Bölzer more than most other bands in their respective genres. Sludge, in particular, lends itself easily to experimentation, with bands like Primitive Man and Thou adding a blackened edge to an already heavy genre.
Ruins, the debut from San Francisco’s Body Voids, plays out in a similar to those bands, with painfully shrill screams, monolithic riffs alternating between super slow and punk rock speed, and a super fuzzy distortion. “Erased,” for example, is a fast number that comes off as a fuzzed-out, d-beat ode to Eyehategod’s punkier side, while “Swan” has moments of quiet introspection that get shattered by huge, ear-drum destroying walls of distortion and down-tuned guitars. There are a lot of dynamics in volume and speed, but Body Voids also know when to change the mood, as can be heard on the title track “Ruins.” Clocking in at over 16 minutes, “Ruins” has a dark, evil sounding doom riff that eventually evolves into a more melodic, melancholy section, which again, gives way to a punk rock section.
The production is super murky, with lots of feedback and fuzzy, overdriven guitars, but this actually matches the tone of the music perfectly. The music is, at times, earth shatteringly heavy, but can also be moody, and even somewhat beautiful, and would probably last some of its allure had the production been too clean sounding. Body Voids manage to add a lot to the sludge genre with Ruins, giving fans of Primitive Man, Thou, and The Body another great record to add to their collection of soundtracks to the apocalypse.