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Halo : Body of Light

Released in 2003, 'Body of Light' marks the end of Halo's career, and its culmination.

Halo was a two-piece band based in Melbourne, Australia consisting of Skye Klein, bass and vocals and Robert Allen, drums. While Halo is no more, Skye Klein still produces interesting experimental music. I recommend you check out his various latest projects by visiting his site.

Released in 2003, 'Body of Light' marks the end of Halo's career, and its culmination. The album materializes the artistic propositions that have been developed in the previous efforts while radicalizing them. The noisy turmoil that has been patiently perfected throughout 4 full-lengths has finally settled. One could say that Halo entered maturity; like a man leaving his childhood, having learned to use his potential, knowing what he wants after having tested his limits and experimented so much: the band got rid of the clumsy speculations in which they ventured on their previous albums, gaining a new simplicity. It comes as a surprise when, for album after album, the band seemed unable to give any kind of cohesive direction to their songs. It isn't really that easy to build up an interesting Industrial Doom track, as disharmonic and unstructured as it might appear at first glance. If you fail to come up with a solid flow that will trail through the chaos and hold all the pieces tightly together, they will all tangle up. That flow is precisely what Halo couldn't achieve and, in hindsight, I can see but one reason: they just didn't have the goods to back it up.

And that's where they proved to be rather wise: they curbed their ambition. If Chaos was stronger than them, instead of trying to tame him, they just shot him in the head and jumped with both feet on his corpse.

Far from being a sonic magma 'Body of Light' is focused, as blunt as a rusted razor it leaves bad scars that won't heal. The songs have been given a strong bass-based structure which, enhanced by a clear and potent production, propels the band in another dimension: where crushingness reigns supreme. 'Body of Light' is the definition of "crushing", no less; this is the only aural ground the band confined themselves to: an industrial forge, a skyscraper collapsing, a gigantic blue whale hitting the surface of the ocean with his tail, again and again. That concept escapes all idea of experimentations: all that is left is a primitive ritual in which melody and flourishes have been swapped for regression and basic instinct. The music got simpler, the chaotic tremors are stabilized and distilled into a nihilist vision structured in 8 chapters: 8 brutal detonations that, by integrating the breathtaking heaviness of Drone Doom, expand on the industrial outlines as thought out by The Swans and toughened by Godflesh.

Here, unlike what the band produced before, each single line is designed to make an impression: they emptied the framework and condensed each shade to enhance its impact. The various sonic textures of 'Guattari' and 'Degree Zero Point of Implosion' have been smoothed out, flattened by a bonecrushing heaviness that feeds a totalitarian conception of music. An artistic posture that conveys also a desperate vision of society, where desert is gaining so much ground that indifference culminates in a form of existential anguish. The death of God, the decline of all ideals, the organized lethargy which put man before The Void: that is all encompassed in Halo's merciless mechanical clamours.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Buried in Light
2. Crawl
3. Meat
4. A Soft Place
5. Filling the Empty Spaces with Cash
6. Man Whore
7. Body of Light
8. Bind

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the Halo bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-11-20 by Bertrand Marchal
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