Thou
Peasant

What we have here is a stinking, festering, mossy slab of sludge.  From Baton Rouge, Louisiana, no less.  With Peasant, Thou  prestents six tracks of fuzzy, yet heavy doom.  It’s really nothing we’ve never heard before, but they do some things pretty well (though not often enough).  Like a lot of new doom acts, Thou is sort of a genre blender mixing classic southern sludge with post-rock and extra bluesy riffs.  Yeah, I know blues isn’t anything new to the genre, but I swear, some of these riffs sound like a Muddy Waters tune.  Unfortunately, they don’t quite blend enough.

Opening track “The Work Ethic Myth” had my hope up pretty high.  Its like a mix between Graves At Sea and Pelican.  The lilting, bittersweet melody is really effective.  However, without many turns in the songwritting and just being under 6 minutes, it does try my patience.  Second cut “An Age Imprisoned” introduces that bluesy stuff I was talking about. It’s actually kind of happy.  Reminds me of Jesu a little bit.  Unfortunately that riff only shows up twice in the entire 11 minutes of this track.  The closing 3 minutes are pretty cool, though. A droning, feedback ridden funeral dirge which makes you wonder if it’ll ever end (in a good way).

“Belt of Fire to Guid Me Cloak of Night to Hide Me” didn’t really strike me as anything too special.  Just some more heavy sludge riffing.  There is a nice slow down section in the middle that does well to add vartiation in the songwritting.   “Burning Black Coals And Dark Memories” marks a return of the post-rock influence.  The first half of this track is really quite wonderful.  After a soft, plodding opening, it explodes into a downpour of meloncholly.  Unfortunately, the second half is back to the same ol’ sludge as usual.  Last two tracks “They Stretch Out Their Hands” and “The Road of Many Names” are pretty much the same deal.  No frills, monotonous doom.  Though, the closing to “The Road…” is pretty sweet.  Shrill, staticy feedback rings out and fades as a solitary melody is played on a clean guitar, which also fades in time.  Thought that was a pretty haunting closer.

If you’re just looking for sludgy doom, then look no further.  These guys deliver.  But if you’re looking for something more, don’t bother.  Peasant comes really close to being something special, if they’d only have gone the extra mile.  More blues and MUCH more post-rock influence could have made this a stand out album.  Like a Jambalaya without enough spice, it really doesn’t stand out.  Just the same old sludge, unfortunately (wow, I’ve said that word a lot in this review).

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Belgarath
July 31st, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: ShaolinLambKiller

    Great band
    Great dudes
    mediocre review.


  2. Commented by: Belgarath

    What could have improved it?


  3. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I just got a re-issue of Tyrant, thier 2007 debut for review-solid stuff


  4. Commented by: Mitch

    I hate this record. These guys should go back to being a 311 cover band. They were at least pretty good at that.


  5. Commented by: S

    I wish this band would just build the constitution necessary to summon Andras and become one with endless void, instead of just fingering darkness with their pathetic musical foreplay! Laughter.


  6. Commented by: ShaolinLambKiller

    Commented by: Belgarath
    What could have improved it?

    someone who actually appreciates sludge and doom and not make comments about how adding more post-rock influence would improve upon a tried and true.


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