Body Hammer, as the name suggests and alludes, is a musical project that’s looking for the perfect synthesis between man and machine. Ryan Page, the man behind Body Hammer, has morphed the band from a hyper-speed automaton into a droney junkyard of dark ambitions and mechanical terrors.
Befitting of a Tsukamoto or Lynch movie, II: The Mechanism of Night feels way more in tune with a soundtrack than a metal album. Songs are linked together with the same mechanical dread, but actual instrumentation is sparse and comes in flashes. Hyperspeed drum machines shoot out of left field, letting the guitars piggyback for a few seconds, but ultimately they all fade into larger soundscapes of vocals and misty clouds of distant guitars.
I like II: The Mechanism of Night a great deal. I think the atmosphere, aesthetic and mood of Body Hammer is fantastic and alluring. And, while I think Mr. Page can do great things with abstracts, I wish he spent more time with the guitar and drums making grindcore songs. “Dog Star Man” was featured on Blastbeat Mailmurder’s Monomaniac Comp Vol. 1 and it was easily my favorite track there. Now, featured on II: The Mechanism of Night, I feel that it is blown over and almost forgotten by the end of the album. Simply put, the approach of small blasts sandwiched in between dense drones, abstracts, samples and noise make II: The Mechanism of Night a difficult album to sit through. It provides a sensation of being on the edge of dreaming, or, and I mean this in the best of ways, a sensation of slowly drowning as you struggle to keep your head above the water. You can easily lose track of where you were and the expectation of a blastbeat can drive you mad as it won’t come for another couple of minutes.
I read somewhere that II: The Mechanism of Night represents purgatory where Jigoku, Body Hammer’s first album, was hell. The metaphor is fitting, and it’s really driving me crazy to think what heaven might sound like.
Released by the incorruptible and always interesting Path Less Traveled Records, II: The Mechanism of Night is up for free streaming on the label’s bandcamp where you can also purchase this cd and bask in the wonderful artwork adorning the case.