Album Review: Magus by thou


Zach Willits

Los Angeles based sludge metal outfit Thou released their latest album called Magus on Aug. 31. The band is known for their funeral-paced music and overwhelming levels of despair that oozes through their crushing music. Did they deliver the goods this time around? Let’s find out.
Thou has been around for a decent amount of time now, releasing their first album in 2007. The band has changed a bit since their early days, showcasing a cleaner and more melodic sound these days in stark contrast to their raw, aggressive fury from their early releases.
The album opens strongly with the somber track “Inward.” The track features a majestic, soaring riff that pairs nicely with the agonizing screams of the vocalist, painting a very dreary picture indeed.
Further down the album the track “Transcending Dualities” opens up with tremolo picking that leads one to believe a black metal song is about to play, only to drop itself into a brutal, doomy riff that could shatter bones.
This track shows the band getting more aggressive and a bit less moody, with the riffs sounding more diabolical.
“Greater Invocation of Disgust” starts out sounding quite creepy with what sounds like dissonant piano lingering in the distance. This is until it assumes the usual thick slabs of riffage present throughout the rest of the album, with a

shriek proclaiming, “We have nothing but our hatred,” a lyric that very well describes the mood of the entire album.
Magus is sprinkled with odd transition tracks like the subdued “My Brother Caliban” and the divine sounding “Divine Will.” This is certainly a welcomed attribute of the album that adds a vague thematic element, or maybe just an ambiguous feeling of mysticism. In any case, it is enjoyable.
While Thou does a great job at their solemn doom metal, the music can definitely get repetitive given the length of the album. The band could throw in some more variety or shorten the album length.
The album contains a fair amount of anger and is decorated overwhelmingly with despair. This is not to say it is a subdued album, like their past album, “Inconsolable.”
The album is full of cathartic screams and loud guitars, though the feeling is one of defeat and pain. This is recommended to anyone who likes unrelenting misery in musical form.