Following their debut collaboration in May Our Chambers Be Full, an album that cracked Sun 13’s Top 50 Albums of 2020, Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou kick start the year with The Helm of Sorrow EP. The release marks a victory lap for the greatest collaboration we’ve seen so far in this decade.
Where Rundle dominated proceedings on May Our Chambers Be Full, with The Helm of Sorrow, it’s Thou‘s turn to shine in the spotlight.
Opener, Orphan Limbs, is a slow haunting number with Rundle‘s lyrics conjuring up grotesque imagery for Thou to tear up the script with towering blocks of noise.
The sludgey sprawl that is Crone Dance is dominated by Bryan Funck‘s ghoulish shrieks that rise about Rundle‘s gritty grunge-laden tones. Aesthetically, it’s the song that could have been shoehorned into May Our Chambers Be Full, however its inclusion here makes this release all the stronger.
With tumbling drums and guitars that spit and drone, Recurrence is a sledge hammer of a track, with Thou revelling in the mire. If metal heads and crust punks ever became embroiled in a full-on bar brawl, then this song would be the soundtrack.
The EP finishes with Hollywood. A cover of The Cranberries‘ ’90s classic cut and Rundle and Thou pay the song ultimate homage, launching full force into the song and giving it a new incandescent light.
With two releases in less than six months, we very much hope that this isn’t the last of this collaboration. With Rundle set to release two albums of her own later in the year and Thou always threatening to release new material, both artists will once again feature prominently in 2021.
Let’s hope they combine once again in the future because the spark is raging and The Helm of Sorrow EP is further proof of that.
The Helm of Sorrow EP is out now via Sacred Bones. Emma Ruth Rundle appears courtesy of Sargent House. Purchase from Bandcamp.