Twenty-eighteen is shaping into a breakneck year for Thou. Ahead of releasing their fifth full-length album, Magus (out at the end of August), the Baton Rouge-based doom/sludge metal outfit has released a trilogy of EPs exploring separate aspects of their sound, the third and newest being Rhea Sylvia.
Whereas The House Primordial was brutal and relentless, and Inconsolable played with cold, almost folky post-rock, Rhea Sylvia explores the band’s indebtedness to ’90s grunge and metal.
“The Only Law” and “Deepest Sun” would be rock-radio-ready Alice in Chains songs if not for the black metal growling. “Restless Rive” is about a perfect cross-breeding of grunge, doom and sludge as you could dream of. Closing track “The Lasting Dose” – a cover of Louisiana sludge forefathers Crowbar – assures that the record ends on a decidedly dissonant note.
You might call Rhea Sylvia a somewhat more accessible works for entering Thou’s intricate and growing catalog. Just beware of where it might take you.
Ryan is a writer, editor and vinyl collector currently based in Los Angeles. He started Mini Music Critic in 2017.