by Gerry Mak in New Music on Wednesday 5 August 2009

Crust bands have always taken from and given to other subgenres of extreme music — after all, Discharge was largely responsible for inspiring the grindcore bands that begat death metal. Until now though, most bands with a crusty feel to them never really appealed to me because they often were still too rooted in hardcore for my tastes. Thou from Baton Rouge, however, are the first crust band to offer epic, evocative riffs, carefully considered arrangements, and ear-shredding vocals that sound more demonic than merely angry. Drawing from black metal, doom, and heavy psych, the five-piece make a unique and crushing sound very much inspired by the swampy, sweaty, tragedy-stricken part of the world they come from while being very light-handed with their politics.