The sessions for the collaborative album, ‘May Our Chambers Be Full’, released late last year were so fruitful there was material to spare, with enough quality output to warrant a further EP. The material on offer here was released with the special edition of the album, but is getting a – well-deserved – solo release here.
The four tracks explore the same territory as the album, being a wonderful collision of brooding post-rock and the darkest, raging metal.
‘Orphan Limbs’ sets the tone: a minimal, rolling guitar line, heavily soaked in reverb, and to begin, it’s more or less the sole accompaniment to the semi-sedated croon of long-term Thou collaborator, Emily McWilliams’as vocal, creating an atmosphere that’s dense and dark, with an emotionally-wrought introspection… but then the build comes around the midway point, and it’s brought in on rolling drums and a sense of foreboding, before absolutely all hell breaks loose in a roaring blast of demonic fury that tears violently from the speakers.
There’s a change of tone with ‘Crone Dance’ which brings the sludgy guitars in a landslide, and alternately twists Emma’s almost wistful, folksy tones around snarling raw-throated rasps, both propelled by a lumbering riff that’s a cross between Sabbath as filtered via Melvins, and grunge at half speed.
The power of these songs lies in their juxtapositional elements, first and foremost – but then, and it may be stating the obvious, but no matter – the other key aspect is the brute force and sheer volume. Everything is amplified: not just the instruments, but the emotion and intensity that goes beyond words.
It all reaches a magnificent peak on the last of the four songs, the monumentally dense ‘Hollywood’, which again offers a couple of gently-picked bars before everything crashes down in a welter of thick, shredding noise. Maximizing the effect of the quiet verse / pulverising loud chorus, it hits hard.