This is a collaboration between post-rock/folk solo artist Emma Ruth Rundle and doom/sludge metallers Thou, both from the US.
This is the second collaboration between these two artists, although sadly I managed to miss out on the full album that the two released together last year. On the strength of The Helm of Sorrow, this is a real shame, as something special appears to have been created here.
The disparate styles of the two artists involved in this release have combined to produce a 22-minute EP; three original pieces and a cover of a song by The Cranberries. The music is a sludgy grunge-influenced brand of expressive alternative metal. As catchy and memorable as you would expect something with that description to be, it also benefits from Thou’s core heaviness and caustic screams. The end result is doomy sludge songs made more accessible and melodically rich by the 90s influences and Emma Ruth Rundle’s powerfully emotive clean singing.
Each of the tracks are very well-written and arranged, and I really like that the personalities of both artists come through strongly in the music. This is a rare case of a collaboration yielding the best results, with Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou both seemingly pulling off the impossible with ease; namely, staying true to their own individual sounds, while also complementing and enhancing each other further than would otherwise be possible.
This EP is a resounding success, and is both enjoyable and rewarding. Make sure you check this out.