Review Summary: The sludgiest of the sludge, Thou's Peasant turns water into oil and air into fumes.
does what any memorable sludge album should; it completely takes the air out of any room it's being played in and creates a heavy vortex, a pulverizing soundscape that suffocates listeners with slow, brutally constricting riffs and exploding percussion. But there's another, almost hidden layer of beauty in Peasant
; Thou will casually throw in a wonderful guitar lead over the sludge that makes Peasant
seem less threatening and it ultimately works in Thou's favor. As Thou pounds along at their unwavering, draining pace, there are little hints of beautiful guitar melodies that just peak their head out of the gallons of sludge and it really makes Peasant
a complete listening experience.
doesn't change things up as much as say Thou's new album Summit
does, as Summit
is more detailed-oriented and more metamorphasis-like in its approach, but Peasant
overall packs more of a punch because it doesn't
sway that much. Peasant
is the more direct and pounding of the two albums, never oscillating too far from the muddy explosions that are executed so well throughout the album like the beginning of "Belt Of Fire To Guide Me, Cloak Of Night To Hide Me" which begins with a truly haunting bass line that quickly engulfs into a rush of sludge. It seems as though Thou let loose more on Peasant
than their other affairs; where Thou was more conscious of their planning on other albums, Peasant
is their most raw and honest work because they did not worry about what will go where and instead relied on their instincts to create the most "Thou sounding" album of their career. In return, Peasant
works as the best representation of Thou's crushing sound and a testament to their devotion of sludge based metal.
The majority of Peasant
works like a close-up fly over of the genre of sludge; melting riffs pouring themselves over synchronizing percussion and vocalist James Brodowski's gasps for air, as if he is trying to escape the mud he enclosed himself within. As stated before, there are moments where he is able to escape; the soft intro to "Burning Black Coals And Dark Memories" is as beautiful of a moment as you'll hear in a sludge album. Absolutely stunning delay-effect guitar notes over quiet cymbal crashes give off the effect of finally diving out of the sludge and seeing the blue sky above this lake of oil and muck, only to dive right back in and submerge one's self in the toxic lake. The effect is a beautiful give and take of clarity and immersion and shows off how great Thou is at songwriting; this multi-faceted approach they take to sludge is silmultaneously welcoming and intimidating.
The sludgiest of the sludge, Thou's Peasant
turns water into oil and air into fumes; a plodding, filthy masterpiece of the genre of sludge metal with hints of beauty sparkling in the toxins. It's a heavy, brooding adventure that never lets you go throughout its play time, and you're ironically thankful for Peasant
as it chokes you into submission.