The Body With Assembly Of Light Choir In Concert Hear the sludgy doom-metal duo play with a 24-member female choir at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.
Torsten Meyer/Courtesy of (((unartig)))
The Body performs with the Assembly of Light Choir at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.
Torsten Meyer/Courtesy of (((unartig)))

Live in Concert

The Body With Assembly Of Light Choir In Concert

The Body With Assembly Of Light Choir In Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/137503557/137551187" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Watch the video.

Led by Chrissy Wolpert, the Assembly of Light Choir walked through a mostly seated audience, cloaked in robes, singing a cappella at Le Poisson Rouge. The 24 members of the choir come from various musical backgrounds and operate under an empowering philosophy: "I am a singer. I am a good singer. I am confident. My voice is powerful and unique. And I am tasteful." It's an ethic rooted in punk rock, which is surely what attracted the sludgy doom-metal duo The Body to work with the group on one of my favorite albums of 2010, All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood. Conceived as a collaborative performance on a whirlwind 10-date tour, the Providence, R.I.-based groups convened in New York City as part of the Blackened Music Series on June 25.

After 14 minutes of the choir's own songs — part hymnal, part ancient ritual — Wolpert led the group in "A Body," the surging piece that opens the record. But when guitarist Chip King and drummer Lee Buford lay into the first chord of "A Curse" that follows it, a jaw becomes unhinged and the apocalypse opens its mouth to an Earth consumed by fire and creatures made of eyeballs. As heavy and as loud (and I mean three-speaker-cabinet LOUD) as these feedback-driven harbingers of doom are, these songs are intensely emotional. And don't let King's microphone in the video fool you: That was purely for recording purposes. He really does scream that loud over the massive, body-vibrating sounds the band makes.

The concert ends with a Judas Priest priest riff from "Here Comes the Tears" stretched and dragged like a deer carcass, featuring a haunting choir melody loosely based on "Lullaby to a Ghetto" by the industrial innovator Death in June. Given the elements, it's a odd meeting of worlds that works surprisingly well, like an unsettling catharsis in sound.

Audio provided by Le Poisson Rouge; mixed by Bill Bowen for NPR. Video by (((unartig))).

Set List

  • "A Body"
  • "A Curse"
  • "Song of Sarin"
  • "City of the Magnificent Jewel"
  • "Lathspell, I Name You"
  • "Untitled"
  • "Here Come the Tears / Lullaby to a Ghetto"



[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Another Sky performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Dec. 5, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Another Sky

The strength of this London band is matching message with music. There's intensity and clear intention in their use of rock as an art.

Jimmy Eat World performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Dec. 6, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World showed up to the NPR Music office all smiles and no guitars. They borrowed a couple acoustics, a gong and a tambourine for a heartfelt set that included "The Middle."

J.S. Ondara performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Nov. 5, 2019. Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

J.S. Ondara

After first trying to win our annual Tiny Desk Contest, the singer-songwriter from Nairobi decided to put out a record, got nominated for a Grammy and wound up here anyway.

Yola Carter performs during tiny desk on December, 12, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Yola

The singer who once sang for Massive Attack and sampled by Iggy Azalea and The Chemical Brothers, is front-and-center at the Tiny Desk.

Daniel Norgren performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Sep. 25, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Daniel Norgren

The Swedish singer sways and writhes as he and his band create a dream state calming enough to slow the day's hectic pace to a crawl. Take a seat on a comfy couch and have a listen.

The Comet Is Coming performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 2, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

The Comet Is Coming

The Comet is Coming is a force of nature. The British trio makes the kind of instrumental jazz that takes music lovers out of their comfort zone and into a musical realm they may never have explored.

Weyes Blood performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 7, 2019. (Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Weyes Blood

Watch the band perform a blissed-out, gently sweeping set featuring three songs from its latest album, Titanic Rising.

Sheryl Crow performs during Tiny Desk Fest, on Oct. 29, 2019. Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow's Tiny Desk Fest concert included a handful of early hits that have become pop standards.

Snarky Puppy performs during a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 12, 2019. Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Snarky Puppy

The jazz, funk and gospel improv group brought jams and joy to the Tiny Desk.

Rick Danko on Mountain Stage in 1989. Courtesy of Mountain Stage Archives/West Virginia Public Broadcasting hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Mountain Stage Archives/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Rick Danko And Garth Hudson On Mountain Stage

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Band's bassist and vocalist and one of rock's greatest organists and keyboardists both stop by Mountain Stage in this archival session from 1989.

Rick Danko And Garth Hudson On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/776941566/777175587" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top