Thou
Blessings of the Highest Order


4.0
excellent

Review

by deathofasalesman USER (7 Reviews)
August 6th, 2020 | 33 replies


Release Date: 06/05/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I still haven't had my full fill.

Seven years ago, I played drums in a stoner rock band, and every Friday we’d practice in my friend’s garage for a couple hours, smoke weed in his car, then jam out mindlessly until the neighbors complained. Often times, I’d catch the guitarist playing a Nirvana riff, like “Aneurysm” or “Territorial Pissings,” and suddenly we’re winging the whole thing, and we’re playing it loud and angry. To our surprise, it actually sounds pretty good. That’s when we heard a knock at the garage door. It’s a talent agent for Warner Bros. and he says he likes what he hears. We ended up signing a three-album deal the next day, and life has never been the same since.

Obviously, that last part didn’t happen. The point is, Nirvana covers are fun, but you’re not going to turn any heads with them. That is, unless you’re Louisiana sludge outfit Thou. On Blessings of the Highest Order, Thou put their spin on 16 tracks by the legendary Seattle grunge act, and they do so with vicious virtuosity. Guitars and bass are tuned lower, the feedback made noisier, and the drums, by some miracle, even heavier. The major change above all, and the one that will discourage many listeners, are the raspy shrieks of vocalist Bryan Funck. Whereas Kurt was able to craft melody from ear-piercing screams, e.g. the chorus of “Scentless Apprentice,” Funck’s screams are atonal, more guttural, and never let up when he’s behind the microphone. That being said, if you don’t like the first two minutes of “Aneurysm” (or “Blew” depending on what version you’re listening to), you’re not gonna enjoy the next 68 minutes of this massive tribute. If you’re like me though, you’re already eyes-closed, headbanging to the filthy, familiar groove.

Thou have long revealed themselves to be Nirvana worshippers. With most of these tracks having been featured on previous releases, and their 2015 cover set, blonde wig included, being a dead giveaway, it feels like Blessings has been a compilation itching to be released. Now that it’s here, a layer of Thou’s history has been peeled back, and we can peak inside to see the songs that inspired their disgustingly heavy sludge. For the most part, we are treated to obscure song choices like “Endless Nameless,” a seven minute slab of feedback-heavy sludge with brooding atmosphere that often descends into pure noise, and “Even in His Youth,” a power chord-driven b-side with repetitive, depressing lyrics. Alongside these outsider cuts, Thou show their admiration for classics like “In Bloom” where the screams are traded in for dreamy female vox while the guitars provide a dense wall of fuzz behind them. This one is worth checking out if you’re adverse to the evil-sounding shrieks found elsewhere.

While every cover is excellent in its own way, “My Girl” is where Thou truly shines. Based on Nirvana’s version of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” from MTV Unplugged, it begins with a monstrous bassline before the drums and throaty vocals kick in. Around the three-minute mark, the band breaks into a haunting passage with harmonizing guitars that will surely give you goosebumps. At the end of this nine-minute behemoth, the vocals break up the song as Funck screams “I will shiver the whole night through” with a painful-sounding conviction similar to Kurt’s unplugged performance. The band jumps back in for a thunderous conclusion, capping off a truly mammoth record.

If you love Nirvana, chances are you’ll at least get a kick out of what’s to offer on Blessings of the Highest Order. If you also love sludge, it’s likely you’ll enjoy this as thoroughly as I do. Aside from those I mentioned, my top picks on this are “Milk It,” “Floyd the Barber,” “Stain,” and “School.” As of now, this is free to download, so there’s little in the way of giving this a spin.



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user ratings (59)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
deathofasalesman
August 6th 2020


7200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Like I said it's free, so check it out here:

https://thou.bandcamp.com/album/blessings-of-the-highest-order



You can also buy it if you like to support music here:

https://roboticempire.bandcamp.com/album/blessings-of-the-highest-order

DDDeftoneDDD
August 6th 2020


15423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ahah duuuude! A rev for this is too sweet!

Digging: Dread Sovereign - Alchemical Warfare

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
August 6th 2020


6399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

fucking yes

Digging: The Body - I?ve Seen All I Need To See

Gyromania
August 6th 2020


31423 Comments


you should write more

deathofasalesman
August 6th 2020


7200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yeah I felt like this needed a place to discuss its awesomeness



Thanks Gyro! I'm trying to get back into the habit

DDDeftoneDDD
August 6th 2020


15423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, it happens the rev is as awesome. Congrats.

Time to give it another spin!

deathofasalesman
August 6th 2020


7200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude, this deserves multiple spins. 70 minutes goes by quick

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
August 6th 2020


6399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

btw “My Girl” clearly is the best song, good choice

DDDeftoneDDD
August 6th 2020


15423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'M A STAAAAAAIN



I'M A STAAAAAAIN







I'M A STAAAAAAIN

dbizzles
August 6th 2020


14589 Comments


Great review. I'm a casual Nirvana fan and a huge Thou fan, so this was just fun enough for me. Think my favorite is Territorial Pissings.

Digging: Boldy James and The Alchemist - The Price Of Tea In China

DDDeftoneDDD
August 6th 2020


15423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Luckily this will bring Nirvana fans to this filthy path m/

dbizzles
August 6th 2020


14589 Comments


Hope so. Could see them being mad about the songs being 'butchered' if they haven't already grown out of grunge and into sludge.

deathofasalesman
August 6th 2020


7200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What's everyone's favorite cover off this?

Deez
August 6th 2020


7127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Probably 'Milk It' for me. Always loved their 'Something in the way' version too. Theyre all pretty great tho

StarlessCore
August 7th 2020


7634 Comments


this was fun lmao

Digging: Lil Wop - Enchanted

Ectier
August 14th 2020


228 Comments


And now they have done a black sabbath cover record

Relinquished
August 14th 2020


45917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they’ve already done it like 10 years ago

Ectier
August 14th 2020


228 Comments


Ah my bad

deathofasalesman
August 15th 2020


7200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfw0GdysGOw



Might be my next review lol. I'll start with an anecdote about covering Paranoid with my first band.

Inoculaeted
August 15th 2020


517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This band somehow perfects grunge without being grunge.



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