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Magus The Quietus , October 1st, 2018 15:44

Melodic textures underpin a ferocious sludge on Thou’s most satisfying metal outing yet. By Tom Coles

Magus is Thou in their purest, clearest form. That might be because - after a string of collaborations with other artists - they’re able to focus on just being Thou. And Thou are a very good metal band.

Thou's basic sound combines a lot of styles which are in vogue: the weight and heft of powerful sludge, the atmospheres of post-metal and the scratchy, atonal undercurrent of noise rock. Because of their collaborations with bands like The Body it's tempting to lump Thou with difficult, abrasive experimental music, but Magus is fairly free of wild excess or brain-flaying drama. It is Thou’s most traditionally and accessible metal album so far, with a series of rewarding riffs scattered across the record.

The focus they exhibit is key to the record's success. The tracks have the weight, mass and filthy growl to rank them with the best of the genre, but are sprinkled with unpredictable moments. Rather than - as many other bands do - picking the form apart to make something abstract and joyless, they’ve made a thoughtful record that’s happy to just be ugly and satisfying.