Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou: The Helm Of Sorrow




  1. Orphan Limbs
  2. Crone Dance
  3. Recurrence
  4. Hollywood



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The Helm of Sorrow is the limited edition companion EP to Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou’s collaborative album, May Our Chambers Be Full.

With their last collaboration May Our Chambers Be Full, EMMA RUTH RUNDLE and THOU produced one of the best albums of 2020. A strange proposition at first, RUNDLE’s melancholic, doomy folk music contrasted with the abrasive, sludgy noise metal of THOU. So, the companion EP The Helm Of Sorrow comes with high expectations for what this unique pairing can produce.

These four tracks prove to be as accomplished and experimental as the album it follows. RUNDLE and THOU refuse to hide their contrasting styles, instead using them to create a tapestry of light and dark.

Opener Orphan Limbs starts with EMMA RUTH RUNDLE front and centre; her rich voice and classic guitar style drawing the listener in until the pounding rhythm section starts. THOU announce themselves with grating screams and altogether more devastating brand of music but one that never outshines RUNDLE who takes on a more ethereal form, backing the cascade of noise.

Crone Dance builds and circles around the listener. THOU drive the pace, with Bryan Funck’s abrasive vocals laid over a sludgy, grunge riff and a hammering drumbeat. RUNDLE creates a back and forth and track grows in intensity until it collapses into a furious, discordant breakdown. Even here, there’s a stunning guitar solo buried within the distortion, bringing a necessary moment of light. It works as a companion piece to Orphan Limbs, the two tracks bookmarked by sections of melody.

If there’s one thing that RUNDLE has brought to the table, it’s an ear for more euphoric moments when THOU are at their most aggressive. Recurrence breaks away from the savagery to include something akin to a chorus, while closer Hollywood is a unique take on an almost generic template.

Sounding like a CRANBERRIES rarity, it sees RUNDLE take the lead once again with a grungy rock song. It sounds like nothing else on the record, and yet somehow feels completely in keeping with what THOU and RUNDLE have created, even down to the SOUNDGARDEN-esque guitar line that closes out the record.

As a companion piece to May Our Chambers Be Full, this EP is an envy-inducing look and the quality this pairing can produce. Most impressively though, it’s a record that stands on its own and one that will make you yearn for more from this collaboration going forward.

Rating: 9/10 via Distorted Sound

Additional information

Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 32 × 32 cm