Like it or not, supergroups are an inevitable part of the music landscape. There’s always a new one in the works, in no small part because they reliably attract media attention even before they’ve done anything. More often than not, though, supergroups turn out to be letdowns compared to the amount of hype they generate. Absent in Body have a lot of expectations riding on their brand-new debut full-length, Plague God (Relapse), due to the insane list of heavy hitters in their lineup: Colin H. van Eeckhout and Mathieu Vandekerckhove of doomy Belgian postrock outfit Amenra, Scott Kelly of sludge icons Neurosis, and Igor fuckin’ Cavalera of Sepultura. But on Plague God, we hear a supergroup who live up to the fevered imaginings provoked by the news of their formation. Absent in Body absolutely rip, whether they’re slithering and oozing through bombastic, earth-shattering doom, unleashing relentless industrial noise, or exploring yearning, ambient-flavored postmetal. Each member brings his best, most characteristic moves to the project—glimmering soundscapes, massive slo-mo riffs, inhuman vocals, smashing electronic rhythms, tectonic drumming—and they create pure magic while doing it. As far as heady, experimental metal goes, these musicians are at the top of their game, no matter the project—and we’re lucky that the stars aligned for them to come together in Absent in Body.
Absent of Body’s Plague God drops 3/25 and is available through Bandcamp.