Monday, June 8, 2020

Thou Release Blessings of The Highest Order Digital Compilation Full of 16 Sludge/Doom Metal Nirvana Covers (Robotic Empire)

Thou are a Sludge/Doom Metal band hailing from Baton Rouge, Louisiana formed in 2005. Their current line-up consists of guitarists Matthew Thudium, Andy Gibbs & K.C. Stafford, bassist Mitch Wells, drummer Tyler Coburn, and vocalist Bryan Funck. Thou have previously released music in conjunction with a wide variety of labels, such as Deathwish, [adult swim], Vendetta Records, Gilead Media, Thrill Jockey, Sacred Bones Records, and Get Better Records. Although, Thou's latest effort was surprise-released this past Friday on Bandcamp Friday with Olympia, Washington-based imprint Robotic Empire. Blessings of The Highest Order consists entirely of Nirvana covers; featuring everything from Incesticide B-side "Aneurysm" to "In Bloom" from Nevermind all rendered in a Sludge Metal/Grunge style. In fact, most of the compositions from Blessings of The Highest Order have been previously released on past Thou recordings, aside from "Dive."

Said tracks have previously appeared on compilations, splits, and EP's, such as Peasant/To Carry A Stone/Malfeasance/Retribution, I Have Become Your Pupil with The HIRS Collective, Baton Rouge, You Have Much to Answer For, "Doused In Mud, Soaked In Bleach," In Utero: In Tribute, The Sacrifice, Whatever Nevermind, The Archer & The Owle, and most recently, Riffs for Reproductive Justice. Thou write on Bandcamp that Blessings of The Highest Order is "a compilation of all of the Nirvana covers we've released over the years. Thanks always to Kurdt, Kirst, Dave, Pat, and even Courtney." It features an eerily awesome album cover that looks to be some sort of black-and-white religious drawing/etching, much like what's shown across Thou's Bandcamp page. Though, most of these were lesser-known, hard-to-find, 12-inch vinyl comps. etc. so, it's nice to finally have them re-collected all in one place digitally.

Personally, I've never really been much of a Nirvana fan (I'm more of a Foo Fighters kinda guy!) but I can respect and appreciate Nirvana's necessary contributions to music as a whole... but, man, Thou really twist, contort, beef up, and Sludge/Doom-ify these well-known Nirvana records to a state of near-unrecognizability! With that said, not being a huge Nirvana fan, some of my favorites from this batch of 16 mind-numbing covers include the more "recognizable" songs, like "In Bloom" and "My Girl" AKA "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" or "In The Pines," originally, popularized by Leadbelly around 1944-48. Even though June's Bandcamp Friday event has passed, Thou "are planning on donating money to various causes over the next few weeks," according to Robotic Empire. Thou's Blessings of The Highest Order is now available on digital streaming platforms, via Robotic Empire.

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