Though often lumped in with New Orleans sludge bands like Eyehategod and Crowbar, Thou shares a more spiritual kinship with ’90s proto-grunge bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden (all of whom they’ve covered extensively, both in the studio and onstage). The band’s aesthetic and political impulses reflect the obscure’90s DIY hardcore punk found on labels like Ebullition, Vermiform, and Crimethinc. From 2004 through 2016, the band has released four full-length albums, six EPs (some bordering on full lengths), two collaboration records with The Body, and enough material spread out over splits to make up another four or five LPs. While sonically, Magus may be a continuation of Thou’s previous album Heathen, thematically it stands as a stark rebuttal, a journey beyond the principles of pleasure and pain. It is more the culmination of these distinct EPs, which all orbit some internal black hole. FFO alienation, absurdity, boredom, futility, decay, the tyranny of history, the vulgarities of change, awareness as agony, reason as disease.
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