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December 11, 2018 @ 7:00 pm$10
w/ Cell Rot
Doors 7PM/ Show at 8PM
$10 Advance/ $12 at the Door
There’s a lyric on Thou’s new album that sums up their 11-plus year existence pretty succinctly: “We are vast unknowable beings without the confines of your perception.”
That song, “Transcending Dualities,” is obviously not intended as meta-commentary about Thou. Vocalist Bryan Funck is specifically referring to the mercurial spectrums of gender and sexuality (“Our gender is disorder/ Our sexuality is transgression and transience,” are the ensuing lines). The ever-humble Funck might dispute this, but that brash declaration definitely applies to Thou as well.
Vast? How about the 41 assorted releases and 600-plus shows the band’s racked up in just over a decade. Unknowable? Try boiling down the dense lyrical themes of any Thou album, often inspired by heady sci-fi/fantasy authors like Gene Wolfe and R. Scott Bakker, in just a sentence or two. Without the confines of your perception? Everyone calls Thou a sludge metal band, but they refute that both in interviews and in practice — just look at their collaborative work with the Body, their punk ethos, their recent acoustic EP, or a live cover of Duran Duran.
Thou have been subverting expectations and exploring the limits of artistic ambition for years, but their latest spurt of activity is their most impressive yet. During what’s been dubbed the “Summer Of Thou” by their fans, the band’s forsaken their usual DIY guerilla-style release tactics in favor of a tight, surgical schedule, dropping one wildly varied EP per month between May and July. Arriving first, The House Primordial expanded on Thou’s gruesome noise/drone work with the Body, albeit without the duo’s help; June’s Inconsolable was a pitch-perfect foray into brutally depressed dark folk; last month’s Rhea Sylvia was, as described by the band, “a melodic grunge, Alice In Chains homage.”
The Summer Of Thou fittingly concludes on the last day of August with Magus, the band’s fifth full-length. Although the most in-line with the standard Thou sound — hastily and reductively summed up as punishing riffs, glacial tempos, and stirringly melodic composition — it arguably faces the biggest challenge of all four new releases, because it’s billed as the official follow-up to 2014’s Heathen. Heathen is an absolute monster, a winding, beautiful, unorthodoxly written 75-minute slab that received the best reviews and most widespread coverage of Thou’s career.