Thūn are a band that you may not be aware of before now….so, who are they? Well, according to the promotional bumph, they are an international metal collective featuring Jon Higgs (guitar and vocal duties) and Hugo Wilkinson (bass) of Monsterworks with James Knoerl of Gargoyle on drums. Lead guitar duties belong to Karl Sanders of death metal behemoths Nile.
OK, OK, now we’re really interested.
So, how did this album come about? Well, during this shitshow of a year, the erstwhile Mr Jon Higgs has been penning all sorts of music and this band has been created to showcase a few of these tomes. Essentially, Thūn are a virtual band with each member recording and producing their own bits. The mixing was then done by Jon Higgs and mastered by Damian Herring. Keeping up so far? Good. Let’s dive in.
Thūn play doom. Heavy, sludgy, filthy doom and yet, they are no one trick pony. No way, Jose. As well as the heavy sludge, there are blast beats aplenty, numerous time-changes, and some blackened death metal chucked in for good measure. However, don’t assume this is a haphazard collection of styles and timing. This is a very well structured and well written album and everything, no matter how random it may sound, is meant to be there.
Nay, it NEEDS to be there!
Every member of the band has taken their respective role and ran with it to great effect…..and it would appear they’ve been given the freedom to do so. Every band member absolutely nails their part, although special mention must go to Jon Higgs and his range of vocal styles – there’s pretty much everything in this album from guttural growls to high pitched screeching and it all fits beautifully. Also, the drumming is quite eclectic throughout with time changes and blast beats all over the shop. The time changes are seamless though and never feel out of place.
There’s a concept running through the album and it’s something to do with an ancient guardian who has a bone to pick with those who intend to do our planet harm. Noble.
It’s hard to pick any standout tracks on the album as they’re all pretty damn good, offering something different and plenty of variety. If pushed, “Cage Within A Cage” is worth a mention as it seems to be the track where each artist truly comes to the fore. Also, “Gaiacide” particularly demonstrates James Knoerl’s talents behind the drum kit and ends the album on a particularly epic high! Incidentally, the inclusion of Kyle Sanders isn’t merely a marketing ploy, with one of the most recognisable names in death metal providing scintillating solos aplenty!
If you’re looking for a copy of this album, you’ll only find it as a digital 24-bit full dynamic range download with PDF lyric book on Bandcamp. The companion physical release is a limited edition 24-page hard bound 8-inch square artbook, because, and we quote, “CDs are obsolete, new vinyl is for posers, cassettes are for hipster posers and subscription streaming is for suckers that actively endorse the devaluation of music”. So there, that’s us telt, as the good folk of Glasgow would say.
This is an extremely strong debut album and well worth £5 of your hard earned cash for the download. In fact, that’s an absolute bargain for an album of this quality….so don’t be a meanie, go chuck a few quid Thūn‘s way! 8/10
Thūn‘s Thūn was released on June 16th, 2021.