By Lane Oliver
Those familiar with the spiteful doom duo, The Body, will remember the inclusion of an all female choir on the opening track of All the Waters of the Earth Shall Turn to Blood, “A Body”. The all female choir in question is known as The Assembly of Light choir. Founded in 2008 by Chrissy Wolpert, The Assemble of Light choir is a secular, all female choir that includes almost twenty members. The choir recorded their self titled debut in Providence, Rhode Island with members of The Body, Braveyoung and Daughters. Those contributors should spark interest in you enough but trust me that choir itself is the most awe inspiring inclusion on this record.
Assembly of Light begins with a bright humming drone that flutters inside the listeners mind, bringing forth a sense of tranquility. The women of Assembly of Light come in accompanied by soft piano chords and mellow violin and cello whispering in the background on the opening track “Insides”. This group of women shows off their incredible vocal range and create such a beautiful ethereal atmosphere with their voices that no instrument could strive to create. “Transition” brings forth the darker elements in the group with a guest spot from The Body. The violin and cello set the stage with a few bars of tension building strums. Then the world comes crashing down when the familiar, raw apocalyptic doom of The Body comes storming in with simple yet powerful chords. The Assembly of Light’s vocals float melancholically over this display of intense dread and Chip King’s terrifying pain stricken screech. After this destructive force has run its course, the track ends with the ladies accompanied by piano. This track, in a sense, creates beauty from ugliness. The monstrous drones of The Body are terrifying but with the addition of The Assembly of Light, it seems beautiful in a twisted sense. Large, melodic sludge chords and rolling percussion open up “Treelight”. That familiar, drunken slur of Alexis Marshall (Daughters) accompanies the reverberating chords and the gorgeous vocals of the choir on this track and provides such an odd contrast to it all. “Treelight’s” climax is something to behold and is an incredible moment on this track. Everything just comes into full force. The bass heavy riffs, the crashing cymbals, Chip’s screeches and Alexis’s yelps and The Assembly of Light all coalesce into a huge wall of gorgeous yet destructive sound. The final three tracks are all a part of a trilogy entitled “Into the Woods”. As I said at the beginning, the choir itself is the most awe inspiring thing on this record. Sure the first tracks were fantastic and really intriguing but “Into the Woods” really shows you the power of the voice and is proof that humans, even though we are a virus with shoes (thank you Bill Hicks), can create something utterly beautiful. Each of the three concluding tracks features no instrument accompaniment. What you get a stunning display of vocal work and the formation of eerie, grandiose hymns. These women have got some pipes man!
Obviously this record isn’t for everyone. Even with the inclusion of The Body and Alexis Marshall, it may takes some time getting used to especially if you are accustomed to choral music. I have never been a fan of choral music but this record really showed me the power of the human voice and the utterly stunning and emotional things it can create. If you give this record a chance I can promise you will be moved emotionally and spiritually.
Label: At a Loss Recordings
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Favorite Tracks: “Treelight” and “Into the Woods I, II, and III”