Body Prison – UNTIL MADNESS
Released: November 17th, 2023
Daniel Macdonald // Vocals
Tom Cadden // Guitars
Nicholas VanVidler // Bass
Frankie Demuru // Drummer
Since I saw Body Prison‘s debut show supporting Gravemind in Melbourne earlier this year, I have been excited to hear new music from the chaotic deathcore group. They’re a band that has a sense of identity in the saturated heavy music scene, and it’s finally time to explore that further and see if Body Prison can cement their place. Can they make their mark with their debut album UNTIL MADNESS?
‘INDUCTION‘ employs a robotic voice-over and dramatic overshadowing to set the creepy ambience as the instrumentals slowly build. Distorted guitar effects and tough vocals allow this intro track to set a heavy tone for the listener.
‘DOGMA‘ features blackened overtones alongside the rapid and heavy lyrics, which accompany the ever-escalating instrumentals. As the song progresses, guitar effects and solos are used to evolve the song before hitting with an awesome melodic breakdown.
Body Prison is constantly impressing me so far with the various guitar effects being utilised. ‘SHADOWS CAN’T COMPLAIN‘ is a fine example that showcases how far guitarist Tom Cadden can push the instrument. The breakdown here is particularly reminiscent of To The Grave, but still feels like it stands on it’s own.
Daniel Macdonald is a vocal powerhouse throughout this album, but the entirety of ‘PAST LIFE‘ is so gnarly. Daniel’s vocal shifts for different effects demonstrate an insane mastery of what he does, and it’s an absolute joy to listen to. I appreciate the continued use of minimal overarching effects to instil a horrific vibe, particularly during the outro of this song.
Hardstyle-esque beats thump the intro of the title track ‘UNTIL MADNESS‘ before things turn up to 11. The tempo continues to vary throughout, as we get to experience some blackened and chuggier tones, between blast beats courtesy of drummer Frankie Demuru. This track is a roller coaster of a ride and I was happy to be on board.
‘RUMINATION‘ once again goes nuts with the guitar effects, and the somewhat extended instrumental allowed me to hone in on the intense bass courtesy of Nicholas VanVidler. This track isn’t exactly album filler, but I didn’t find anything to latch onto with ‘RUMINATION‘.
I love the intro for ‘WASTE OF SKIN‘, as it feels like I can take a breath for a moment before a composition of epic scale blows my head. Daniel’s vocals take centre stage as the range between screams and growls are put to work, and I love the isolated growly callout around the halfway mark. Tom gets another sick solo in ‘WASTE OF SKIN’ before the song culminates in one of the hugest breakdowns of the album.
Body Prison show they’re not afraid to experiment as this next track ‘NO LOVE‘ is a cover of a song by American hip-hop group Death Grips. When the rapid vocals are isolated alongside electronic bass beats, that doesn’t quite gel with me. Despite this gripe, I think Body Prison have utilised their unique deathcore sound well on this track, as we still have some chunky guitars and a hard-hitting breakdown to headbang too.
‘TUNNEL VISION‘ is one of those tracks that I appreciate because it’s an onslaught from the opening second. Tom and Frankie on guitar and bass respectively, drive give this track a nuanced progression across multiple layers that were a joy to dissect and listen to casually. The groovy blast beats blend well with darkened tones and consistently powerful vocals throughout. Each breakdown on this album seems bigger and more badass than the last, and the one in ‘TUNNEL VISION‘ is no exception. Big props to Daniel’s gutturals throughout this track’s outro.
‘DYSMORPHIA‘ has an appropriately haunting intro, which is utilised throughout. After a brutal interlude-like section, melodic guitars add something extra to the intensity which evokes a sense of heated passion before one final breakdown.
This debut album also includes some remixes courtesy of AILL. Very rarely do I find myself enjoying remixes, however, I liked the ambient take on ‘DOGMA‘. ‘PAST LIFE’s‘ remix sounds like it was taken straight out of the Cyberpunk 2077 score, which while I enjoy it I’m not sure how often I’d go out of my way to listen to it. I did appreciate the low-key bassy remix of ‘DYSMORPHIA‘, however personally the ‘SHADOWS CAN’T COMPLAIN‘ remix didn’t quite do it for me. It’s a masterful way of replacing the majority of instrumentals with effects and AILL captures the essence of what made this song so enjoyable. I personally don’t find it differentiated enough from the original track to justify repeated listens.
Body Prison have delivered an incredible debut album, that solidifies their deathcore sound and encourages experimentation with a cover and remixes. Sure some of these didn’t quite land with me, however, the meat of UNTIL MADNESS is an incredibly solid foundation that will help Body Prison define the future of Australian Deathcore.
Body Prison – UNTIL MADNESS tracklisting
3. SHADOWS CAN’T COMPLAIN
4. PAST LIFE
5. UNTIL MADNESS
7. WASTE OF SKIN
8. NO LOVE
9. TUNNEL VISION
11. DOGMA (Remix)
12. PAST LIFE (Remix)
13. DYSMORPHIA (Remix)
14. SHADOWS CANT COMPLAIN (Remix)