Published Oct 19, 2020After 2019's genre-defining There Existed an Addiction to Blood, the hype behind clipping.'s second horrorcore opus is unavoidable. Like a slasher movie sequel, Visions of Bodies Being Burned goes for the jugular with Daveed Diggs' lethal flows, mind-bending production from William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes, and an impressive host of guests.
The central loop of "Say the Name'' derives from the Geto Boys classic "My Mind Is Playing Tricks on Me" — an apt summation of this album's stylistic foundation. Over a dynamic, slow-burning beat, Diggs hinges tales of racial injustice around the Candyman — the hook-handed, vengeful spirit of a lynching victim. Coupled with immersive soundscapes, Diggs' sordid storytelling and cutting commentary reinstate clipping. as horrorcore overlords.
Be it the harsh noise jump scare of "Intro" or the hair-raising dissonance of "Invocation," clipping. approaches hip-hop like horror cinema. Similarly, the accidental demon summoning skit "Wytchboard" and the zombie horde field recording "Drove" evoke sleazy B-movies. Speaking of zombies, Diggs envisions a swamp full of cannibals on "Eaten Alive." Adorned with Ted Byrnes' percussive collage and jazz experimentalist Jeff Parker's anti-riffs, the song is absolutely spine-tingling.
Replacing the vampiric undertones of There Existed with undead imagery, "Pain Everyday" finds Michael Esposito's string arrangements mourning the wrongfully killed, while Diggs calls for resurrecting and wreaking havoc. He elaborates on this idea with "Something Underneath," spitting reanimated retribution with incredible speed and raw ability over disjointed, distorted feedback blasts. His revenge fantasies get more brooding during the droning harmonies and sub-bass pulses on "Make Them Dead," and reach a climax with "Body for the Pile." A plunderphonic tapestry of loading and firing guns, clattering bullet shells and wailing sirens follows the bloody trail of a spectral cop killer: "three little pigs and they can't do nothing."
Diggs' conceptual scope manifests in the savage empowerment of "96 Neve Campbell," an ode to the "final girl" of many a horror flick: "This bitch boss / Come in talkin that shit / And you gon' have to die about it." With killer bars from the fatal twosome Cam & China, the song's crisp clap-track and metallic clangs hit as hard as the cacophonous manslaughter anthem "Looking Like Meat." The punkish abandon of Ho99o9 supercharges this song's clipped bass and whacking backbeat, as well as its tough-talker-meets-pure-evil mantra. There's two ways to interpret "wear that face out," and neither sound pleasant.
For all the heady subject matter and sounds akin to Coil or Prurient, this album actually offers more for fans of Gravediggaz and the old-school Memphis sound. Deep cuts like the hushed, paranoid bounce of "Check the Lock" and the rattling abstract trap of "Enlacing" give Visions more hip for its hop than There Existed.
Back with arguably more certified bangers than before, clipping. throws caution to the wind with soul-rending sonics and elite-tier rapping. At the very least, Visions doubles the likelihood of a hapless Disney+ user following Diggs from Hamilton to a horrorcore masterclass. (Sub Pop)