Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou
May Our Chambers Be Full


5.0
classic

Review

by Dewinged CONTRIBUTOR (95 Reviews)
October 30th, 2020 | 456 replies


Release Date: 10/30/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For the long winter.

Artistic polygamy has seen a rise in the last decade, and we, the world, should be thankful for it. In 2016 we were gifted the cosmic maelstrom that was Mariner, the affair between post metal titans Cult of Luna and American banshee Julie Christmas. The Roadburn festival edition of the same year was blessed by a one-time conjunction of evil forces summoning a project aptly called Blood Moon, with renowned mistress of darkness Chelsea Wolfe fronting a possessed version of the legendary Converge, among other guest musicians. And just last year, the very same festival saw the spark that ignited the collaborative effort that brings us here today.

No longer than a year and a half after Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle presented the project live, followed by a raucous performance on a skate-park doing Misfits covers, the studio version of those tracks finally takes shape in May Our Chambers be Full. Whether this is one of the consequences of the world-scale pandemic that has crippled their tour plans or just one more outlet for their incombustible creative energy, the truth is that this union has translated into a truly incredible record.

May Our Chambers be Full marries perfectly, and I say this in the fullest meaning of the word, the grunge-tinged sludge metal of the Louisiana swamplords and Rundle's shoegazed brand of post folk. But before I keep going down the rabbit hole of aimless genre tags and impossible classifications, let's just dive into the seven tracks that constitute Thou and ERR's first effort together.

"Killing Floor" kicks things off without hesitation, no warm up is needed for artists of this caliber. Rundle assumes the central vocal role while Thou's Bryan Funck mirrors her singing with his habitual, rabidly evil screams. Thou display their usual bone-crushing waves of down-tuned strings and pummeling drums while still leaving space for Rundle's melodic spells. For anyone familiar with any of the two bands, it is clear, from this very first track, that they have crafted something really special. Thou's KC Stafford, who had a prominent vocal role in the band's past set of EPs, is the one fronting the thriving "Monolith", which is probably the most up-tempo both bands have gone in years. Even in doing so, they still manage to pull the heaviness all the way to the very end for a glorious beatdown finale.

"Out of Existence" may start as a Rundle solo work but it's soon stomped by Funck's diabolical growls until they vanish, inviting Rundle to take the reins again for a memorable chorus. "Ancestral Recall", released as a single along with astonishing closer "The Valley", continue to expand on this new but somehow familiar sound. At times Thou, at times Emma Ruth Rundle, every song in May Our Chambers be Full bounces between the pure sound of each of their independent works, but it's when they meet in that sweet middle point where the true magic happens, as shown in the end section of "The Valley" or even through a deep cut like "Into Being". While "Magickal Cost" is about extremes, with Thou going on a semi-blast beat mid-track, Emma Ruth Rundle's quiet sections are treated with care and brevity, serving as an air-sucking breath before Thou punches your brain with their usual hammer of Baton Rouge approved sludge.

For all the destruction and insanity that the year 2020 will be remembered for, it is strangely comforting that it has also allowed many artists to expand on their craft. May Our Chambers be Full may be a spur of the moment, a one-off that will never have a second part, but it is also a moment captured in time, a work of withered beauty that only artists like Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle, and the love and respect they both have for each other's music, could have made possible during one of the darkest periods in modern history. So yes, may our chambers be full of music like this, because we are gonna need it, for the long winter ahead of us.



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user ratings (261)
4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2020


22220 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This was incredibly rushed, so sorry about (very) possible fuck-ups!



In LOVE with this thing, and I don't know about AOTYs anymore! Welp!



Give'm love Sput: https://thou.bandcamp.com/album/may-our-chambers-be-full

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2020


5800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Woah already? Hype!



> Rundle assumes the central vocal role with Thou's Bryan Funck mirrors her singing with his habitual, rabidly evil screams => shouldn't it be while?



Apart from that the review is cool, I never listened to Emma (shame, I know) and you convinced me to give her past work a listen

Digging: Big Black - Atomizer

DDDeftoneDDD
October 30th 2020


14480 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

HYYYYYYYYYYYPE. I have the daughter playing and screaming around, can't wait for her to go to sleep m/

Digging: Ultimate Spinach - Behold & See

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2020


1887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yess!! absolutely loving this, no shocker

and great rev dewi! my one nitpick would be that the 2nd para could benefit from a full stop to make it a bit less long winded



dedex, plz do dig into emma's music right this second (and love it, or else.. :] )

Digging: Palm Reader - Sleepless

Evok
October 30th 2020


8288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Been waiting on this one. Well done Dewi, the hype is reeeal!

Digging: Ninze and Okaxy - Blurry Mind

parksungjoon
October 30th 2020


23053 Comments


woah

Digging: Slauter Xstroyes - Free the Beast

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2020


5800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ok if you resort to menace then yeah imma jump into this

botb
October 30th 2020


14144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review buddy, I’ll be spinning this all day in the truck at work absorbing it.

ramon.
October 30th 2020


3759 Comments


i somehow never heard about this, hype as fuck


Senetrix666
October 30th 2020


238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ya this slaps.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2020


22220 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Will get in those edits when I get home, thanks fam



And thanks for featuring oh mighty elder ones!

Josh D.
October 30th 2020


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

oh hell yeah, I forgot, I'm excited to listen

Josh D.
October 30th 2020


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It brings me no pleasure to tell you I really dislike the opener.

combustion07
October 30th 2020


7292 Comments


This has gotta be awesome

Digging: Altarage - The Approaching Roar

Josh D.
October 30th 2020


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

hoo boy, I did not enjoy this. "The Valley" is awesome though.

Senetrix666
October 30th 2020


238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hard disagree. the opener is pure bliss

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2020


22220 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Disliking the opener and liking the Valley it's an interesting take indeed.



You are more a ERR fan than a Thou fan maybe, Josh?

someone
October 30th 2020


1257 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i am so looking forward to this. great review, got me even more pumped

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2020


3517 Comments


"let's just dive into the seven tracks that conform Thou and ERR first record together." -- latter half of the sentence is awkward, esp. "conform" (maybe constitute? comprise?), and there should be an apostrophe I think. I could be misunderstanding, though. Funck in the first sentence of the second last para should probably have an apostrophe too.

Otherwise, beautiful review, Dewi, loved the opening paragraphs in particular. Never really listened to either artist, but this sounds super interesting.


Josh D.
October 30th 2020


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I don't think I've ever listened to Thou, is this what they're always like?



I guess my issue overall is so much of the vocals so starkly don't mesh with the dissonant and heavy wall of sound guitars that it isn't pleasant at all to my ears. Like, "The Valley" is dreary and sad, but it's still pretty and has nice melodies, all that jazz. Most of the rest of the album is so inharmonious.



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