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Amazing... - 96%

analog_winter, June 20th, 2012

This split is one of my favorite metal releases ever. Thou and Leech unleash monstrous material each, together making this split a monumental release. While Thou have had a very prolific career so far and have put out some stunning doom/sludge, Leech has flown under the radar, but their brand of atmospheric black metal is gut-wrenching and emotional, and is some of the most powerful music I’ve ever heard.

Thou’s side of this split is devastating, from the quiet intro of acoustic guitars, to the scathing doom that comprises the bulk of their compositions, to the melancholic piano/feedback outro. The guitars on this side of the record are immense, unleashing massive sludge riffs. The guitar tone is super thick and sludgy while still having enough definition to be absolutely crushing. “Rats And Mice And Swarms Of Lice” is a perfect example of their guitar sound, the waves of immense riffs roll over you repeatedly, crushing you into the ground. The screamed vocals are the perfect harsh compliment of such riffing, and add to the overall heaviness of the music. The outro, “The Defeatist’s Lament” is a beautiful way to end such a harsh side of music, with fuzzed-out guitar feedback, female clean vocals, and a somber piano line that serves as a perfect finish to Thou’s side of this split.

Leech’s side of the split brings forth one beast of a track, clocking in at 20 minutes in length, and consisting of powerful atmospheric black metal of the highest caliber. Leech’s guitar riffs are simple and melodic, but very well composed, giving off anything from a melancholic to an almost epic feel. One thing that really separates Leech from a lot of black metal bands is the bass, which is simply amazing during parts of this song. The bass does not always tremolo pick and follow the guitar, but at times plays very melodic bass lines that add a great foundation for the guitar work. The vocals employed by Leech are completely indecipherable screams that add greatly to the atmosphere of this song. All in all, this is a stunning track from an overlooked band.

This split is a truly awesome piece of music, from two incredibly talented bands, and it’s a shame that this release is the last we’ve heard from Leech whose demos and splits have all been great release, but who deserve a full-length album. We Pass Like Night, From Land to Land comes with my highest recommendation.