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Speechless - 100%

Dying_Funeral, July 21st, 2010

Thou are a sludgy droney doom metal outfit from Louisiana. They decided to come to my city and I decided to go because I love doom metal and a bunch of doom bands would be there besides just Thou. All of the bands at the show slayed but Thou blew my mind. So I decided to pick up their first album over at the merch table.

The tour version of the album came with two bonus songs one which is good and the other which is awesome. "Acceptance" is an instrumental but is one of the best tracks on the album. It's a very deep and moody track that will send emotions soaring. It's not a doom song by any means but seems more light and happy. This is a good thing after all the doom that just pummeled your ears for 47 minutes. It's more of a shoegaze, atmospheric, sludge kind of song. It's a beautiful thought provoking song, great to listen to on a long dark drive at night.

"What Blood Still Flows From These Veins" is the longest song on the album and is slightly different from the non-bonus songs. For about 4 to 5 minutes into the song it sounds like the rest of the songs but starts into a chant or speech if you will. It reminds me of something Satanic Warmaster would do at the beginning of the song "True Blackness". It's a nice touch I like it, after that bit of excitement the rest of the song is droney ambient drum noises and stuff. It's not boring but not terribly exciting.

The main songs on the album are true sludge/doom metal songs to the core. They're slow and filled to the brim with despair and a sense of dread. The feeling you get listening to the songs is of slowly spiraling down and down until you can not get back up. These songs are your typical doom metal songs except perfected. "Monstrance" has some killer riffs in the song that make it a tad more upbeat than the rest of the songs in my opinion. It's also probably the best from the main songs.

Overall Thou will crush you skull with their thick, distinct riff after riff formula and atmosphere of pure fucking doom. They've taken doom to a different place a better place. If you ever have a chance to see Thou go do it, you will not be disappointed they put on an energetic show.

Superb, dark sludge - 87%

Lustmord56, September 23rd, 2008

Review originally published at http://www.teethofthedivine.com by Erik Thomas

Hot on the heels of the bands recent 2008 release, Peasant, Gilead Media gives us a CD digi-pack re-issue of the this Louisiana sludge bandfs 2007 LP only debut, originally released on One Eye Records.

I love everything about this band; their simple name, their logo, their artwork (the new artwork even seems to match the artwork of Peasant), their crawling, sludgy, blackened doom, their lyrics, and the fact they are from Louisiana. With obvious nods to Eyehategod as well as current sludge acts like Cough, Highgate and Negative Reaction, and even some Autopsy, Thou are a simple, icky sludge act with little deviation from lengthy songs of oozing, feedback laden riffs straight from the depths of the Bayou. Even with a few tangents of hacking Southern ambience and bluesy sometimes post rock acoustic respites, Tyrant comes across as a festering, sore ridden and painful metal reminder of the post Katrina carnage that left the area a barren, scarred wasteland of human misery and refuse.

I heard this album after Peasant, and when you compare the two, Tyrant seems to be the better release. It has a bigger, fuller, nastier production as well as a slightly more unique eswampyf feel, as opposed to pure droning sludge. The seven tracks, in their hour duration deliver tangible moments of skin picking paranoia mixed with some surprisingly introspective segues of malaised beauty. The end result often comes across as Goatsblood meets Isis having a voodoo ritual.

From the opening scrawl of the title track, to the aptly named, heaving gWith a Cold, Life Extinguishing Eleganceh, loping menace of gFucking Chained to the Bottom of the Oceanh, rending and almost melodic doom of gI Was Ignored and Judged and Cast Downh, to the crawling filthy gMonstranceh and closing duo of the corrosively epic 13 minute gWhat Still Flows From These Veinsh and surprisingly elegant 11-minute instrumental gAcceptanceh, Thou are absolute masters of this style and in my opinion one of the best and nastiest sludge bands around. (On a side note for you vinyl nuts out there the albumfs last two tracks are also both available from Gilead on a Blood Red Vinyl 12 EP).

If you enjoyed Peasant, Tyrant is a must have as it is the superior release, though Peasant is awesome also. Tyrant just seems to have a bit more variety and ambience amid the gnarly, tooth gnashing sludgy throes.

Occasionally rather heavy - 88%

Noktorn, April 3rd, 2008

Thou. A good name for a band like this. Singular, impersonal, archaic, and vast. Exactly the sort of one-syllable utterance that you want representing monolithic dirges of sludge-driven, drone-infused, ambient-laced heavy metal that implant themselves in your mind with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the left temple. In the spirit of newer sludge/doom artists like Minsk, Thou's style of music is a blend of Isis-style post-metal leanings alongside black and misanthropic tides of Goatsblood-inspired cruelty. The result of this combination is almost something out of an early Type O Negative album in structure: great, vast soundscapes of ugliness and misery broken up by sharp, aching fragments of beauty and melody that are starkly reflected by how barren the rest of the music is before being smashed to glittering pieces by the barbaric hammers of power chords, thundering war drums, and throat-searing screeches that would make Mayhem fans cower. And really, who can't get behind that?

All hideous pretense aside, though, this is really good. As previously stated, this is a pretty solid blend of the more melodic and more hateful breeds of sludge, not at all unlike Pelican meets Buzzov*en or something. It's refreshingly devoid of stoner leanings; not that those are bad, but they wouldn't fit here. There's no stoner groove to this music, nor any of the simple catchiness that you'd find in a Sleep album. Similarly, there's none of the hardcore leanings of a NOLA sludge band either; it's not music for Crowbar fans, really. If you dig a lot of the stuff coming out on Southern Lord lately, though (that is, you dig the music and not just thirty different colors of vinyl), you'll probably appreciate this. Thou manages to fuse the bleakness of bands like Winter with highly melodic, shimmering passages that benefit from the almost unbearable tension produced by almost agonizingly slow, thunderous chords and vitriolic screams. It doesn't ever go completely into Pelican territory and clean itself up; there's no clean vocal passages or particularly happy sounds (apart from some of the uplifting riffs at the end of 'I Was Ignored. And Judged. And Cast Down.'), and there's far more Khanate-derived plod than there is airy lead guitar.

A comparison to Goatsblood is pretty apt in some of the more minimal sections, with a similarly tortured and obscure tone emerging from the murky riffing that dominates this LP. While Thou lacks that band's propensity to grind, they do have some more uptempo passages from time to time, though they never really claw their way past 'moderately quick' and up to Dragonforce levels of alacrity. It does add a bit of variation to otherwise still compositions, though, and probably goes far to make this mostly uncompromising music more digestible to the unseasoned doom listener. And this is a doom album, there's no way to deny that; beyond Black Sabbath or Candlemass, this is essentially the essence of modern sludge/doom, and if you dig that style, you'll love this. It's not at all surprising that this LP is getting repressed by Southern Lord; it fits right in with their roster of slow'n'low artists. It's just that Thou is better than almost all of them.

In short: excellent sludge/doom that any fan of the genre would be encouraged to give a listen, particularly for those who like the modern breed of the style. If you love Minsk and other blenders of majesty and misanthropy, you'll feel right at home listening to 'Tyrant'. A great debut from a band that will likely only impress more and more for years to come.

Simply put; Stunning. Fucking incredible. - 98%

TheScourge, September 22nd, 2007

I have never heard doom metal like this before. Not because I don't know what's up, but in truth because there does not exist doom metal quite like Thou. This is some genuinely refreshing music. It's riff, after riff, after riff, after riff of absolutely killer, doomed out, blackened, psychedelic sludge/drone doom metal. There's even parts that draw considerable post-metal inflluence, hell, post-rock even, but they're so much more grim that you can't really compare the two.

This is very dark music. It's also very, very beautiful. The intense psyched out melodies lead the way into some really epic, intense dirges. I know post-doom really doesn't work as a description.. it just conjures up something too weak. Which isn't even to say that post-metal (or post-rock. I highly enjoy both genres) bands are weak, either, but just that this band is very simply fucking brutal. And it's just that I can't find myself saying that about any post-rock or post-metal band I've ever heard. The same rifts and valleys of the parts from collossal peaks to the fucking slowest, dirtiest sludge you can imagine, all with some of the most painfully evil vocals you've ever heard, mixed with doomed out riffage from every other sick and filthy sub-genre you can imagine, garnished with a doom/death aftertaste. And then, at the same time (of course) there are parts that Godspeed would be proud of. Hell, envious of. It's really really good post-rock.The dreamy, melancholy-but-still-somehow-happy jams are all here. And they're still grim the entire time. And definitely metal.



When this band turns up the frostbite it can produce some genuinely creepy music, while, again, at the same time the beauty in the melodies is simply and utterly awe-inspiring. It's totally on another level entirely. Lyrics/vocals, as well as the song titles; the whole aesthetic these guys have going is fucking intense, and really really great. For some reason the song "Fucking Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean" I think fits the entire band perfectly. That title is exactly what this band conjures up every second of each track on this record- Complete and utter fucking despair, hatred, desolation and void. The total absense of light, clean air, and hope. Pitch, nihilistic darkness. The riffs tower like huge monoliths of the ocean floor wrenching free of the crust's continental grip and these colossal come crashing down, standing miles tall going onward into the black abyss forever overhead. The weight of these collums of the earth's crust is enough to completely shatter the seafloor for a hundred miles around. Entire ecosystems are wiped out as these ancient monuments drop. And yet somehow, we have only just begun to see the blackness of the abyss' violent rage, and even more so (an most importantly), only a mere fraction of it's immense, passionate beauty.


I have no idea how to get a copy of their lp other than catching them on tour, which is the perfect excuse to take the time to go find them and see them in your town at all costs; Just wait until you witness this live.


Seriously people, I cannot fucking praise this band enough. Highly, highly, recommended.