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Feels as Grey as the Album Cover - 70%

Thumbman, December 3rd, 2019

Thou's Magus proved to be one of my favourite albums of 2018, and I firmly believe that it's one of moderns sludge's best efforts. Besides Magus, I am mostly familiar with Thou's full lengths. Most of their dauntingly massive discography is not composed of full albums, and it's hard to know where to start when delving deeper into their catalogue. I just ended up choosing an older EP at random and here we are.

The style on display isn't very surprising. This is to-the-point nasty lumbering sludge and there really isn't much in the way of stylistic divergence. The two songs on display are very similar and end up bleeding into each other. To Carry A Stone brings up Old World imagery of dark woods and brimstone. While decidedly sludge, Thou never really puts their hardcore influences on full display. The closest we get is a faster riff (in the context of this release - it's still pretty goddamn slow) at the start of "The Road of Many Names." Most of the riffs are comprised of thick, lumbering power chords. This is a decidedly miserable release, and Thou don't provide any room for light to shine through.

While stylistically this sounds like the Thou I know and love, it's the substance that's the big difference. This sludge is serviceable, and well above average. But it doesn't stack up to Thou's bigger works in terms of songwriting and riffs. It may be a lot narrower in scope than the towering Magus or the classic Summit, and that's fine. This is a perfectly good sludge EP, bolstered by absolutely massive production. It may not be particularly noteworthy in Thou's discography, but it really scratches that miserable sludge itch.