Hot on the heels of the bands recent 2008 release, Peasant, Gilead Media gives us a CD digi-pack re-issue of the this Louisiana sludge band’s 2007 LP only debut, originally released on One Eye Records.

I love everything about this band; their simple name, their logo, their artwork (the new artwork even seems to match the artwork of Peasant), their crawling, sludgy, blackened doom, their lyrics, and the fact they are from Louisiana. With obvious nods to Eyehategod as well as current sludge acts like Cough, Highgate and Negative Reaction, and even some Autopsy, Thou are a simple, icky sludge act with little deviation from lengthy songs of oozing, feedback laden riffs straight from the depths of the Bayou. Even with a few tangents of hacking Southern ambience and bluesy sometimes post rock acoustic respites, Tyrant comes across as a festering, sore ridden and painful metal reminder of the post Katrina carnage that left the area a barren, scarred wasteland of human misery and refuse.

I heard this album after Peasant, and when you compare the two, Tyrant seems to be the better release. It has a bigger, fuller, nastier production as well as a slightly more unique ‘swampy’ feel, as opposed to pure droning sludge. The seven tracks, in their hour duration deliver tangible moments of skin picking paranoia mixed with some surprisingly introspective segues of malaised beauty. The end result often comes across as Goatsblood meets Isis having a voodoo ritual.

From the opening scrawl of the title track, to the aptly named, heaving “With a Cold, Life Extinguishing Elegance”, loping menace of “Fucking Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean”, rending and almost melodic doom of “I Was Ignored and Judged and Cast Down”, to the crawling filthy “Monstrance” and closing duo of the corrosively epic 13 minute “What Still Flows From These Veins” and surprisingly elegant 11-minute instrumental “Acceptance”, Thou are absolute masters of this style and in my opinion one of the best and nastiest sludge bands around. (On a side note for you vinyl nuts out there the album’s last two tracks are also both available from Gilead on a Blood Red Vinyl 12″ EP).

If you enjoyed Peasant, Tyrant is a must have as it is the superior release, though Peasant is awesome also. Tyrant just seems to have a bit more variety and ambience amid the gnarly, tooth gnashing sludgy throes.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 5th, 2008


  1. Commented by: Dimaension X

    Excellent review of an excellent band. Heavy, yet melodic, corrosive and ambient.

    And you can still download free samples of the songs from their main website before buying the albums.

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