Exclaim!'s Top 10 Metal & Hardcore Albums Best of 2016



 
2. The Body
No One Deserves Happiness
(Thrill Jockey)
 
Coming off a string of collaborative projects that saw the band trying to further expand their already mutable sound, No One Deserves Happiness serves as a punishing survey of how far the Body have come since their inception nearly two decades ago.
 
Although it is their first "solo" record since 2014, they use every tool in their arsenal, to cataclysmic results. Even at their poppiest, the Body remain one of metal's most unforgiving bands; from the blown-out synth-bass assault of "Two Snakes" to the glacial doom of "Starving Deserter," they approach each song with abandon.
 
The band have been known for imbuing their specific brand of doom with considered dynamism, and this album is no different. Perhaps it's the inclusion of collaborator Chrissy Wolpert's chorus arrangements and vocals that give the album its human lifeblood; her vocals, both haunting and ethereal, offer a welcome reprieve from the album's considered chaos. Because while No One Deserves Happiness dulls the senses through foggy, repetitive rhythms, it's also the perfect score for an abysmal, unpredictable world.
 
Though we may not deserve happiness, the Body are willing to offer hellish bliss as a consolation.
Cole Firth