Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thou shalt listen to Thou

Thou are one of my favorite bands of late and pretty much everything they've done (well, I haven't heard something like one third of their rather extensive catalogue) is pure bliss to my ears. Therefore I'd like to say a few words about a couple of their recordings.

Tyrant (2007)
(LP cover)
(CD cover)

Thou's debut album does a powerful job presenting this Baton Rouge, Louisiana sludge doom powerhouse. Low rumbling rhythm guitars and pounding drums are joined by tormented screams and the occasional searingly beautiful and even eerie lead guitars. All this creates an atmosphere of despair, misery and desolation in the most magnificent way imaginable.

Five tracks deep, the album is fairly short, but there is a cd version that adds two tracks of heavy, gloomy goodness. It might be tricky finding the album in a record store or a distro (I have ordered it five times now, received one copy), but the good thing is, it can be downloaded for free quite legally (at the time of writing this) from, so there's no excuse not to take a listen to this brilliant album.

We Pass Like Night, From Land to Land (2008)

Thou's split with Leech originally came out as a cassette, but my copy is a vinyl reissue by Gilead Media. Here, Thou's dark, gloomy plodding is coupled with an airier, and also faster, track by Leech.

Thou's side is a single piece, "Abandoned", which is subdivided into 4 distinct parts, showcasing Thou's ability to intersperse their dismal sludge with glorious melodies. The final part also ethereally employs piano and additional vocals by Emily McWilliams.

Leech's side is also a single piece, long and untitled, and not a lot information is given about it. It begins with slow, moody, clean instruments before rushing off into a blaze of "true Cascadian grey metal", not entirely unlike such acts as Wolves in the Throne Room and Burzum, until it closes with the return of a slow, clean passage.

This record might also be hard to find nowadays, but a grand total of 2250 copies have been made of all the pressings combined (as far as I know), but if you are interested, I'd start looking by checking out Gilead Media's or Vendetta Records' webstore. At one point, Thou's side was available for download on too, but that isn't the case anymore.

In conclusion, these are both excellent records and, assuming you are a fan of sludge (and black-ish metal), you'd do yourself a favor by getting your hands on them.

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