Hmmm…. didn’t think we would hear a new clipping. album so suddenly, but here we are.
Last year, they delivered one of the best albums of 2019 with There Existed an Addiction to Blood: one that is made to be played around Halloween with detailed horror stories as hip-hop tracks that deliver chills down your spine. They’ve now done it again with another horror-themed album this year: Visions of Bodies Being Burned. Looking at this release, they made a lot of material for TEAATB, but they decided to split it into two releases. Of course, there were tours planned and everything, but you already know why that didn’t materialize.
The early singles off this album already got me intrigued from the get-go, from the all-out banger “’96 Neve Campbell” to the experimental industrial feat that is “Pain Everyday”. Now Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes are at it again, and we ask: does this new vision of theirs make us feel just as terrified as a year ago?
Yup, this is the spiritual sequel to There Exists an Addiction to Blood which itself drew influences from horror films of the 1970 and ’80s. Now in this one, it takes its references from horror movies of the 1990s. Cue the first track and released single, “Say The Name,” with the clear reference here being Candyman, taking from the Clive Barker short story, the 90s film series, and the mythology itself. Plus the chorus is a line from the 1992 Geto Boys classic, “My Mind Playing Tricks on Me.”
The hook gon’ be what it is, thе hand’s off
The retribution for what you took from the man, got
Blood on thе rust, God bless the red
Earth, the dead man walks the tongue bridge
Abridged the time-space, the boot, the concrete
The project undone, they juking
Made you look, you can’t see it, the mob built the walls
The streets, it bleed sweet syrup, the bees love it
They coming on a swarm
And they raining on your college-ass disco
“’96 Neve Campbell” is all about the self-awareness of the “final girl” in every horror movie that always defeats the killer and how in the end, the killer turns out to be the ‘bitch’. The title references the actress Neve Campbell, who played Sidney Prescott in the 1996 Wes Craven movie, Scream. Plus, guest rappers Cam and China are major highlights of the song being those final girls.
Who the fuck want war?
Come through killing everything, leave the credits for the boards
Yeah, I’m talking billboards, type of shit you can’t afford, nigga
I’m runnin’ laps round these bitches when I’m bored, nigga
Silent killers get it poppin’, nigga, gang gang
Got my foot up in your ass like a G-string
Since we talking, better send a straight deposit
I ain’t claiming shit if I ain’t even profit, you feel me?
Runnin’ thangs, you been a lame, but never mind my forte
Gotta call this shit my beauty shop ’cause bitches press like Jorge
Stick a pull, you better bop that penny pipe, no crack rocks
Back to back like ass shots and still made it my mascot
I double dutch on hot shit and bleed him out his wallet
When I’m done with him, no leftovers, just cut them off no pockets
Daveed’s skills as a lyricist and MC are still undeniably excellent with his cadence and flow aiding his storytelling, and like in the last album, his technical fast rapping works well as he tells these gruesome stories. The effort continues to be stunning as well as the production since there are more industrial and noise elements, the forefront example being “Pain Everyday” with its usage of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) recordings to mimic the voices of restless spirits and the track being done with a 7/8 time drill ‘n bass beat not unlike Venetian Snares’ output. Speaking of noise, the cut “Body for the Pile” from the 2016 Adult Swim compilation project NOISE made it on here with production from noise artist Sickness.
Even in interludes like “Invocation,” the usage of an E5 tone with the pitch up to 666.0 hz creates a terrifying tone alongside ambience like eerie farm animal sounds in “Drove” and the “Wytchboard” which transitions perfectly to “’96 Neve Campbell” upon listening to it in context of the album. Even the final track “Secret Piece” is more of that atmospheric ambient sound, based off a composition by Yoko Ono, that’s quite fitting like the ending track of TEAATB except this is 15 minutes shorter.
Going into the album cuts, “Check The Lock” & “Looking Like Meat” quickly caught on to me, with the former having a mean bass groove in the chorus while rapping about a paranoid drug-dealer, and the latter focusing on cannibalism as the killer envisioned here wants to eat you alive… literally. Plus, the guest feature from noise-rap pioneers Ho99o9 help out this track even more. If you’re not a big fan of noise music, you’ll probably be bothered by “Make Them Dead” with the background noise as it builds up.
Looking like a snack, no cap, no flattery
But you like to beat it up and come no battery
So free range meat, guess it’ll have to be
Roast on a spit, pole through the oral cavity
Got you open kid, don’t front
Once in a black moon, don’t pack a gun
But a fork for the flesh and a spoon for the fluid
And the sharpest knife in the drawer to slice right through it
Like meat fresh like dice in the mirror
Like Tyson, just bite right through the ear
I have to say that I came out of this album really loving this more than I anticipated. Everything about the last album is still full and present from the experimental production going further than before to the lyricism of Daveed Diggs still being top notch with content that keeps up wanting to hear more, making it the perfect album to play around Halloween. Actually, scratch that: this and TEAATB are perfect albums to play this season.
FINAL VERDICT: BUY IT. Visions of this album being on my best albums of 2020 list is very clear.
VISIONS OF BODIES BEING BURNED is on Sub Pop Records and is available on CD, Cassette, Vinyl, digital download and streaming services. You can buy the album via their Bandcamp page.