March 26, 2014

Thou - Heathen

Written by Atanamar Sunyata.

One does not simply walk into a Thou album; the visceral journey is a full mind and body experience. Crossing the threshold of Heathen demands patience and attention, but crushing catharsis is a listener’s reward. You can choose to hone in on the doom, sludge, or drone aspects of Thou’s sound, but the wielding of impossible weight is their wont.

Photos by Carmelo Española

Whereas its predecessor soared to intoxicating sonic heights, Heathen hugs the earth. Thou have kept their massively heavy guitar sound intact, and they use it to plow familiar tracts of gorgeously glum landscape, turning over nuggets of melodic epiphany and post-rock brilliance along the way. The rhythms tend towards tectonic trudge, but occasional upbeat outbursts are likely to grab hold of you and compel physical reaction. Drag that fuckin’ weight, man.

Photos by Carmelo Española

Bryan Funck’s radioactive rasp demands a listener’s attention, and his predominantly comprehensible lyrics demand that you dig up the words to comprehend each and every one. As always, for me, it’s Thou’s lyrical treatises that take my engagement as a listener above and beyond. On Heathen we are entreated to exalt, reject, scorn, and defeat. Revel in and accept the agony of existence, persevering, above all, via endurance.

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