Mon 3rd September 2018
Sludge was not born to be wistful. Pained, ugly, desperate...yes. But the pensive, thoughtful offerings Thou have specialised in have always stood out. That they did this unequivocally within sludge boundaries - no questions of mis-association or genre misnomer - has always made them all the more fascinating.
Admittedly things have changed, the genre has spread far and wide, evolving in a multitude of directions with it. It has welcomely grown and matured. Thou were one of the prime catalysts, the originators of this movement.
Magus is a perfect showpiece of their craft, and of their importance. See the classic Thou of third track Transcending Dualities, the rise and fall, those vocals now so accustomed, the exploratory patience. It is excellent. Or the opening Inward, mournful, slow and dark, a pilgrimage within the known confines of sludge yet with an outlook and journey less familiar.
It is epically drawn, seventy five minutes mass, always with a creeping intrigue.
In the Kingdom of Meaning displays grandeur in its awakening, even as the vocals bring their usual shiver of dread. There’s a deftness of touch, an optimism in the guitar tone, looking only upwards, touching the light. It darkens a slither in the middle, as if wandered into a forest, blackness beneath the crowded canopy, the female vocals that join and the swirling pounding rhythm conjuring a gothic, psychedelic dense atmosphere, like Lotus Thief or early Rwake. The evolution of Thou tracks paint stories as they go.
And it is only one of the eleven chapters of Magus, each pushing the narrative forward. This is Thou, a band standing alone, in control and with a power burning as bright as ever.