Opening with “Killing Floor,” May Our Chambers Be Full is almost a reprieve with moments of sheer beauty underneath all that pain. Through death comes a rebirth, a cycle that continues to format and fall victim to sweeping riffs and the ivory taste of Rundle’s angelic vocals. Thou acts as the executioner for most of May Our Chambers Be Full and the instrumentation follows more towards their hand rather than Rundle’s.
While combining elements of both can be an immaculately difficult procedure, both Thou and Rundle seem symbiotic at points where working together feels natural. As they have toured and shared a stage together, hearing a combination of both the lumbering giant and the crushing monster is as threatening as it is electric.
Especially when reaching “Out Of Existence” where Rundle’s vocal performance is a highlight of May Our Chambers Be Full and becomes exemplified upon Thou’s hallowed ground of performance. Digging roots deeper into the soil, Rundle describes “The slender sun receding where pain and thought departed. The hymns that illness breathes into our hearts, a seat.” While the thumping percussion and eliciting guitar from Thou crashes like a train into the audience seems to happen in fell swoops. Rundle continues on, “It sings in silver threats and golden phrases turning, a verse no one forgets. The song of all things burning.” The instrumental shifts lower and lower until it feels almost underground.
Thou’s Bryan Funck then immediately jumps into the mix describing, “This one is predetermined. This one will find no favor. This one is weight unburdened, dragging down our lives.” The sudden transitional period is favorited through harsh atmospheric noise and consistent backing walls of sound. Running headfirst into the dirt, Thou and Rundle bury themselves beneath layers of earth, collecting tombstones in the form of tracks on their way toward Elysian Fields.
May Our Chambers Be Full is at times much more approachable and assembles more as if Rundle was the maestro behind layering and production. With “Magickal Cost,” a track that is still upbeat in percussion and progression, the less thunderous amp rampage and more subtle work is refined and almost a diamond in an incredibly rugged place. The string work here between both the guitars and bass are fantastic and showcase a real talent from both Rundle and Thou musically.
Then as the explosions are heard in the distance, “Magickal Cost” segues back into a weeping wheel of both denial and hurt. If sound could talk, “Magickal Cost” would be screaming in agony that transposes the basic nature of existence, never having a secure foundational ledge to stand on. Instead, the track continues to put the listener on a rug, only to pull it out again and again before footing can be established. One of the better displays on the record, “Magickal Cost” burns into the brain for its adaptability and willingness to switch the tone as an artistic extension of sinking.
May Our Chambers Be Full is an incredibly strong release under both belts for Rundle and Thou, spending much of the time as allies instead of enemies. The writing is poetic but can draw personal reference without lifting the velvet curtain too much. When death calls, both Rundle and Thou are at the ready with electric blades replacing the acceptance of a quiet demise.