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Breathtaking - 95%

Kotzebue, July 21st, 2011

As hard working and prolific as a band can by, not many stand up close the the skill and over-workedness of Thou, who in their mere 6 years of being a band have put out 24 releases including EP's/Singles/Compilations/Splits and two full-lengths each with no less than 4 songs tracking in at over 10+ minutes long. All of that aside, I lead you into a newer release by the band pleasantly titled 'The Archer and The Owle', an almost fairy tale likened name that brings to mind thoughts of olden times when things were spelled with extra 'E's on the end to make them old timey and suche.

Don't be fooled by the whistfulness of the title, this album carries a heavy emotional burden not only on the one writing out the lyrics, but the one listening to them pass ear to ear. Track number 1, 'Voices In The Wilderness' opens with a happy, almost content guitar that no doubt fools a first time listener into the true dispairity in the songs themselves.

"The death throes of daylight set the sky ablaze.
Silent pyres are heaped with the bodies of the meek."

The opening lines of an otherwise joyful sounding EP, soon turn your thoughts to its black and churning background, written with hate, sorrow and the revenge towards the societal wrongdoings of the modern world, although cliche still an evergrowingly sad truthful way of the world. A cover is the second track, 'Something In The Way' by Nirvana, covered in the style Thou know how to rip the best; sludgey sorrowful. Not like said track wasn't already in the first place but the desperate screams and cries of vocalist Brian Funck create an otherworldy sound on our thisworldy favourite track. A mellow brass accompaniment follows, to once again lul the reader into a false sense of security.

Track 4 out of 6, 'Bonnet Caire', opens with the slow churning, sinking riffs that bands of this genre have been likened to, what makes it different from most other bands like this is the fact that Thou can add a touch of melodic melancholy to bring a sense of depressing hopefulness. Dozing through at a gaping 10 minutes long, this song does not forgive in it's entire length, never showing signs of letting up on the anger forced into it. Track 5, 'Cold World', (a Pygmy Lush cover, as is track 6) a slowly swirling and swiveling mass of crusty guitar and sludge laden strings fermenting over the listener, for the entire duration of the song almost hypnotizing one broken by the subtle yet delicate piano behind the monolithic riffs.

And finally, bringing the EP to a close, track number 6, 'There There', almost like the last word in a fight out of nowhere vocalist Brian unleashes his anger upon you;
"All as if you were alone.
Nobody left you, but you're always not better."
quaking through your veins and driving you to the same feelings of frustration brought upon the songwriter, until a break in the song breathes a whimsical guitar twanging, almost something of a 50's western movie duel, as one knows in such a fight that there will be blood drawn through the efforts and acts of another mans doings, and before you know it the track opens fire and finishes you off with a death marching repeating buildup of drums and guitar, your final moments before the closing sincerity of the guitar, leaving you lifeless.

That was 'The Archer and The Owle' by Thou.