Thou - Summit
Gilead Media
Sludge, Drone
6 songs (51:08)
Release year: 2010
Gilead Media
Reviewed by Goat

Continuing from the awesome darkness of their 2008 full-length Peasant, and not at all hollowed by the near-constant stream of EPs and splits released since then, Louisiana-based fivesome Thou here present their latest. And, as those few who know the band will be able to attest, Summit is exactly the sort of pissed-off miserable bastard of an album that makes the Sludge genre such a fascinating morass to get sucked into. It’s melodic and heavy, crushing and uplifting, furious and terrified, a snapshot of a very different world indeed, and a brilliant listen for those in search of new Doom to groove to. One moment, Summit will seize you by the throat and hold you still in wonder, and the next you’re headbanging helplessly. As ever, precisely what makes a certain piece of music so good is hard to explain to people who haven’t heard it, but Thou have the uncanny knack of making their hateful sludge epic, melodic, and utterly captivating. The distant organs that start up beneath the crashing guitars and screeching on album opener By Endurance We Conquer add a whole new dimension to the track, and the simple fact is that Thou are good at the rise-and-fall nature of their genre. It’s a clichéd sound usually, but these guys avoid cliché and do it well enough to make it genuinely devastating. Plus, Thou like to spice up their sound, little moments such as the piano on Grissecon very enjoyable.

Of course, this sort of music isn’t supposed to put a smile on your face, and the slow relentless deathly melancholy of Prometheus would drive any cheerful, smiling sort to despair. Another World Is Inevitable, which begins with pounding pulses of riffage and speeds up to unbearable intensity, is perhaps even more crushing, and despite lacking Doom, saxophone-enhanced interlude Summit Reprise is still more suited to a funeral march than anything else. Most impressively, the album’s closing track Voices In The Wilderness takes an almost catchy approach, clear melodies running throughout, without compromising at all on the dark atmosphere. The riffs are truly packed in deep, making it a great track that finishes the album well. It’s not perfect – a little more experimentation and playing with melody is needed. But for the moment, Summit is a great album that is recommended to all fans of the nastier types of Doom.

Killing Songs :
By Endurance We Conquer, Prometheus, Another World Is Inevitable, Voices In The Wilderness
Goat quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Thou that we have reviewed:
Thou - Heathen reviewed by Charles and quoted 93 / 100
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