I have a Google doc file that has my entire review calendar recorded, and right now, we have entries into July. It’s an easy way to stay on top of things and not let anything slip under the radar, because there are so many releases every week, there’s no other way to stay sane. Then fucking Gilead Media comes along. Again! And ruins the entire things. For one week, anyway.
Last week, as Roadburn was getting under way, Gilead dropped a goddamn bomb in our laps with the immediate arrival of “Myopia,” the collaborative effort combining Thou and Mizmor, almost the equivalent of Okada and Tanahashi teaming up in New Japan for the dream team to end them all. By the way, this album is available digitally right now, with physical media to follow. This eight-track, 73-minute beast is the perfect amalgamation of both bands, a true combination of each spirit into something that exists because as absolute shit as the world has been, sometimes it gives us gifts that make the misery worthwhile. Thou’s grungy doom and Mizmor’s scathing black metal live in perfect damaged harmony, and while they don’t unlock a ton of closed doors, they combine their storming energies into something that never existed before and now has left us shaken to dust.
“Prefect” starts this mammoth set as it burns initially before coming unglued. Shrieks storm as Mizmor’s A.L.N. takes the first go, the band ripping hard to damaged melody. Thou’s Bryan Funck joins the fray as the track slowly rumbles, feeling like everything is settling as exhaust. “Subordinate” dawns as feeling very much from the Thou playbook, the leads gathering as everything grows more colossal by the moment. The sound bleeds as the shrieks scrape against walls, mangled howls bring additional muscle, and clean notes add a foggy end to a balmy display. “Drover of Man” begins feeling panicked, the melodies flexing as the shrieks gut, and the ambiance feels sorrowful and emotionally heavy. Cold tributaries line the path as chaos bubbles and the growls ensnare, feeling deathlike before the aura gets burlier. The vocals rip back with harshness, the drums set off, and a final bludgeoning sinks the blade deep into your heart. “The Host” is gloomy when it arrives with A.L.N.’s voice powering through the thickness, guitars shimmering as they begin to gain momentum. Feedback hangs like a drubbing storm, Funck’s growls begin to lurch, and the playing heads for your throat, tearing away flesh before clean guitars settle and end this mania in a sense of earned solace.
“Indignance” begins in an oppressive ambiance, the guitars melt, and everything bursts with life as Funck’s growls agitate your already swelling flesh. The vocals combine as corrosion takes hold, the drums destroy, and Funck’s howls explode with menace, following glimmering guitars into the eye of a storm that fades over the distance. “Manifold Lens” slowly jolts as the leads begin to take shape, and Funck’s vocals carve away at you, stretching its heavy cloud cover and scorching with power. Guitars tangle as a doom pall gets meaner, A.L.N.’s vocals dig into you, and slow-moving pulverizing takes over everything, wrenching and glowing prior to being consumed by flames. The title track kicks off the final 20 minutes of this opus, feeling grim and boiling, the vocals sinking in their teeth and refusing to release grip. Everything combusts as gravity collapses, the dueling vocals increase the intensity with wails of, “Question your keepers, question your protectors, question your comforters, question your consolers,” eating away at your psyche, the ferocity landing in a bloody pool of mud. “The Root” closes things with the bass coiling and striking, Funck swallowing chaos whole, and things lumbering and thundering, your guts feeling the weight of this fucker. The guitars catch fire and then liquify, the haze increases, and Funck’s voice levels your safety, the final moments sounding like an engine dying in misery.
I was as surprised as anyone when not only the Thou/Mizmor Roadburn collaboration came to be but when the very existence of “Myopia” was known and understood. This record feels like a true combination of forces into something greater, more emotional, more intense. Both sides align ideally, their sounds meld to form a greater, more monstrous whole, and this record was exactly what I hoped it would be when I found out it was birthed into this cesspool of a world.
For more on the band, go here: https://noladiy.org/thou/
To buy the album, go here: https://gileadmedia.net/collections/pre-orders
For more on the label, go here: https://gileadmedia.net/