For the first 27-and-a-half of its 35-and-a-half minutes, Nothing Passes sounds almost exactly like what one might expect from a collaboration between The Body and Braveyoung. The Body, a duo from Providence, R.I., made a splash with its 2010 LP, All the Waters of the Earth Shall Turn to Blood. The 50-minute LP plummeted into the darkest depths of doom, twisted in unexpected directions by jazz, noise and choral music. Meanwhile, Greensboro's Braveyoung made its full-length debut this year with We Are Lonely Animals, a dramatic slab of post-rock that all but shed the band's former existence as the doom-sloggers Giant. If The Body sounds like the apocalypse, Braveyoung sounds like the dust clearing afterward.
On Nothing Passes—or, at least on its first three songs—the pair capitalizes on the textures and moods that make both bands compelling. Playing as a long-form suite, the trinity of "Song One," "Song Two," and "Nothing Passes" thrive on charred drone-metal, lurching riffs and the eerie minimalism of a John Carpenter soundtrack. The triptych is as deliberately paced as Braveyoung's best moments. It's also as oppressive as any of The Body's.
The final track is a surprisingly true-to-source cover of Exuma's 1970 song "The Vision." The bands jump from one dark horse to another. Featuring the Assembly of Light Choir, a Rhode Island-based community women's choir that also contributed prominently to All The Waters... , the closer is an abrupt shift from the mostly instrumental tracks before it. But it doesn't sound out-of-place in the context of either band's catalog, as its spiritual ambiguity—the apocalypse heralds both an end and a beginning—drives home the aesthetic impulse of both bands. That is, any salvation only follows annihilation.