Absent in Body represents the fulfilment of a wish for post metal fans, namely to see two of the best minds of the genre like Mathieu J. Vandekerckhove (Amenra) and Scott Kelly (Neurosis) working side by side. This wish had already been fulfilled a few years ago, even if we had to wait until today to hear a full length, with the project taking the form of a real band thanks to the presence of Colin H. Van Eeckhout (also from Amenra) as vocalist and bass player and Igor Cavalera on drums. The risk of what we might rightly call a supergroup is always that the end result is less than the sum of the addendums, but Plague God is an album that matches those values. Absent In Body‘s interpretation of the material is shrouded in a heavy industrial aura in several passages, and the typical percussive work of the Brazilian musician contributes to making the whole even more alienating; Van Eeckhout delivers his usual ruthless vocal performance, while Vandekerckhove and Kelly strive to nail the audience with a sound that always remains menacing, even when pleasant melodic cues appear. The goodness and depth of the work is best expressed in the last two tracks, The Acres / The Ache, introduced by Cavalera’s tribalism and circular in its leaden and funereal sludge interspersed with an intimist and reflective part, and The Half Rising Man, with an ambient incipit that flows into an obsessive crescendo, destined to leave only the remains of an inevitable apocalypse on the ground. Plague God is an album of objective depth that, however, may not fully take root in listeners less willing to surrender to its many rough edges.
2022 – Relapse Records