Summit is a monument! Baton Rouge based Thou are a band completely their own. After a deluge of splits, full lengths and limited releases comes Summit, arriving August 10th. To celebrate this marvellous event, NRG are streaming Summit in its entirety until the release date. The album marks a departure from the melodicised sludge of the past and tracks a move into post metal territory where genres melt and fuse, ideas ascend and the focus shifts to atmosphere and capturing interest. Atypical for a band oft bunched together with the narrow vision sludge and doom as genres tend to convey – within we find blastbeats, a whole host of tempo changes that lend greater emphasis to the emotional constants of tension and release, choral arrangements, even lead guitar parts reminiscent of Pelican, Isis, Neurosis.
The band retain many aspects of their trademark driving sludge. Insert a few maxims of experimentation, some refrain and an added eye for atmospheric effect after 3 years of making music as a band, and Summit results. About as emotionally charged as this kind of metal can get. The dichotomy of Thou’s back catalogue between sludge and experimentation has finally been fully bridged. A band whose prolific nature is equal parts indebted to their back catalogue as it is their conviction, whose own ideas are finally manifesting as the purest of fruit. Never for a moment implying Thou have ever released a bad record. In three years they have amassed over 20 releases, not including an upcoming split with Human Intruder. Celebrating all the sublime beauty of our feigned existence, the apathetic bewilderment of mankind, slave nature as mother nature, an attended impoverishment from the human condition, inspired by the ever mystifying necessity of our uniquely humanness.
Summit is my album of the year so far.