I love the light and shade between Bryan's dirty and Emma's forlorn vocals. There are so many layers to this recording that are driven home through contrast. Plus the riffs are brilliant and get me moving. I can't stop listening to Thou and Emma in general lately.
Favorite track: Into Being.
We saw the light fall from your eyes and heard the last call from all your voices. A heart so hollow can still rise, can rise up from you sin. Skin like tallow is turning. I feel like we have revived you once before. I ask that you make room on the killing floor. Felt the last strike from your hands and fists can open to make new your resting ends. For life so thoughtless, for dreams no now believed. The helm of sorrow is hopefully sinking. I’m sure that if we dragged you back to shore, you’d lay yourself down again on some killing floor. Move your body from this place. Move your body to heaven. I can taste Elysian Fields.
Perception colored by death of a loved one, of a friend. Conception choked at the hinge. When did this become the end? Mercy, mercy. Kneel at the base of our monolith, and pray its faceless grey plains choose blindness. To bet on anything less, to bet on your dog to win. Finicky sleight of hand. Convince the spectators that you can't. Show off hollow accomplishments. Contention, cold sacrilege, colder still for giving in. Mercy, mercy. Kneel at the base of our conduit, and pray its faceless grey plains choose blindness.
Oh weakness! My Glory! In secret saved! My secret, my story, is somehow saved! Here’s my confession of my most profound secret. It tells a truth known to everyone who truly knows me: I’m not of this world, this decaying existence; I’m not shackled to their cold cruel and morbid logic. Somehow this secret, this wheel, keeps on passing down to us. Dionysus once knew me. He found me on the bridge in Dresden, naked with Eris, stripped of adornment. He found me again in Monte Verita draped in aesthetic illusions.
Through falling years, these failing times. We forged in fear and blood-soaked rites, in salt of tear, in age of line. The cycle unending, beyond man and time. My Voice, reaching back, oh, children mine. Surrounded by enemies, you have sought me out in silence—in the darkness of concrete passage, in the darkness of the flesh, in the wisdom of bleak asylum. I sing to you in the ur-tongue, in the language of ecstasies, of joys deeper than agonies. Beyond man and time, my voice reaching back. Six thousand feet, my voice reaching back. Of rippling impulse, true, real, raw hunger—my voice reaching back.
All alone… All alive… Undefined… It is, so it is. It is, it just is. Tethered, we will never know the river of a real life. Forced to watch a colored picture of the sunset. Waiting for the failure of this frail frame. Shadows keep us chained inside the cave. Afford us answers, ancestors fail. Scrawling in silence what silence says. When will it all end? It all just ends. Golden were the apples of desire, a hope that there was something more to taste. The senses only liars in the pale light, false companions who have nothing more to say.
***Physical Out And Ships On Or Around December 4, 2020***
Stemming out of an offer from Roadburn Festival organizer Walter Hoeijmakers, mutual acquaintances, and a shared love of each other’s output, May Our Chambers Be Full is the first recorded document of collaboration between Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou. While their solo material seems on its face to be quite disparate, both groups have spent their respective careers lurking at the outer boundaries of the heavy metal scene, the artists having more in common with DIY punk and its spiritual successor, grunge.
May Our Chambers Be Full straddles a similar, very fine line both musically and thematically. While Emma Ruth Rundle’s standard fare is a blend of post-rock-infused folk music, and Thou is typically known for its downtuned, doomy sludge, the conjoining of the two artists has created a record more in the vein of the early ’90s Seattle sound and later ’90s episodes of Alternative Nation, while still retaining much of the artists’ core identities. Likewise, the lyrical content of the album is a marriage of mental trauma, existential crises, and the ecstatic tradition of the expressionist dance movement. “Excessive sorrow laughs. Excessive joy weeps.” Melodic, melancholic, heavy, visceral.
The visual art accompanying this work was created in collaboration with preeminent New Orleans photographer Craig Mulcahy. The faceless, genderless models are meant to emphasize this pervasive state of ambiguity and emotional vacillation, the images falling somewhere between modern high fashion and classical Renaissance.
FFO: Julia Kristeva, Ellen Jane Rogers, EM Cioran, Thomas Ligotti, Ryan Holiday, Mary Wigman, Isodora Duncan, pre-Republican Lisa Kennedy Montgomery.
released October 30, 2020
Fiddle on "The Valley" by Louis Michot. Recorded and mixed by James Whitten at Hightower Recording in New Orleans. Mastered by Adam Tucker at Signaturetone.