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NOLA's most hardworking band Thou put out their fifth release of the year with The Degradation Of Human Life. Here we see Thou's swampy gloom coupled with Mohoram Atta (a new band for me) who does an excellent brand of His Hero is Gone/Cursed hardcore with a touch of black metal. As with all Thou releases expect only the utmost quality here. Beautiful matte jacket with more of the excellent imagery you'd expect from them along with a matching innersleeve.
Things start off with a bang as Thou surges at a midpaced punk beat. Production's pretty much the usual jig, heavily distorted guitars, thundering drums and the voracious vocals clear and audible; if anything the overall production sounds a bit thinner, while the guitars sound a bit heavier, if that makes any sense. Thou plays much more traditional sludge with this, although as noted "Don't Vote" is pretty up tempo and even has some double bass work. Competently executed and well done, Thou maintains a level of quality many bands pray for, but if there's a fault to be had it lies in the lack of variation as this release depicts Thou staying safely within the parameters of sludge and it lacks the post rock touch that has always been the icing on the cake for them. Although my complaints are pretty moot as "Shorties With MP 40's, The Personal Is The Political" jumps from slow, to sludge slow and really peaks around the end displaying a powerful and great song. There's even a Minor Threat cover (Screaming at a Wall) which is excellent and the band rightfully proclaims in the liner notes "Punk lives." As we all know, metal bands embracing punk is a favorite of mine so this was great to hear. Also, on a side note I love Thou's lyrics and beyond that I love their imagery and politics. My favorite thing has to be the Black September fold out "Speak to cops the only way they understand" and has an M16: excellent.
While Thou pours a lot out on their side, Mohoram Atta really do an awesome job. As mentioned earlier, Mohoram Atta's a new band to me, but they play a pretty dismal and heavy brand of melodic hardcore a'la His Hero is Gone. The tonality and the production is very reminiscent of mid 90's Norwegian black metal and creates a powerful atmosphere, something I had always wished HHIG would've done more effectively. The last track sounds like Darkthrone covering newer Envy (Jpn) and it's easily my favorite part of this split. Oppressive and dark, the track fades out and signals a powerful emotive effort from the band and makes me zone out in enjoyment. Employing blast beats, a variety of vocals (including mass shouts), sludgy to black metal like riffs throughout their sound, Mohoram Atta display a plethora of skill. Defiantly a band to look out for Mohoram Atta's brand of dark melodic hardcore is right up my alley as there's slow sludgy parts, heavy midpaced head nodders, d-beats set to razorfast riffing and melodic black metal like riffing that makes me all giddy like a girl scout.
Buy it, as all Thou releases seem to be infallible and of limited quality, this is no different.
Originally written for http://chainsawjustice.blogspot.com/