Saturday, 12 December 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Thou & Emma Ruth Rundle, "May Our Chambers Be Full"

By: Josh McIntyre 

Album Type: Full Length   
Date Released: 30/10/2020 
Label: Sacred Bones 

“May Our Chambers Be Full” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Killing Floor 
2). Monolith 
3). Out of Existence 
4). Ancestral Recall 
5). Magickal Cost 
6). Into Being 
7). The Valley

The Review:

What a pairing! Seriously. Emma Ruth Rundle has been releasing fantastic album after album since starting her solo career with her brooding, atmospheric post-rock post-pop. Thou meanwhile have been one of the most acclaimed and consistent DIY metal bands for the past fifteen years. Both have been some of my favorite active artists for a long time now (I’ve seen each live almost every chance I’ve gotten) so naturally I’ve been greatly anticipating this collaboration record.

The results? One of the best albums of the year. The simplest explanation is that these musicians were able to come together and merge their respective sounds incredibly well. We have it all: heavy downtuned riffs, luscious vocals mixed with screaming, catchy melodies, and most importantly a sense of cohesive unity. Easy comparisons can be made to peers in King Woman and Chelsea Wolfe (especially the Hiss Spun album) but this album actually comes closer to classic early 90s grunge/alt rock if we really dig in. We can’t be surprised, of course, as Thou have numerous (and I mean numerous) covers from these bands and Emma’s love for Smashing Pumpkins is well known.

It just feels so natural, too. Perhaps the best aspect of that old grunge sound was that bands like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains were inspired to be both heavy and melodic, both punishing and catchy. It’s like headbanging in a weighted blanket. It just feels good, nevermind the melancholic aspects of the music. This is what it sounds like when musicians collaborate because they respect each other and share common interests. They didn’t have to do this, they wanted to.

“May Our Chambers Be Full” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp