With a band name like They Grieve and song titles like “All That a Body Can Suffer,” “What Cannot Be Held” and “If Light Should Appear,” it’s a safe assumption that this Ottawa-based drone doom, post-metal, orchestrated molasses sludge band woke up on the wrong side of the bed when they formed in 2015 and have continued to do so since, offering two releases of the morose slo-mo sound of crumbling mountains and crushing moods. First was 2016’s I Made My Sacrifice Accordingly EP (re-issued in 2018) followed by their forthcoming latest, To Which I Bore Witness. Recorded and produced by Topon Das (Fuck the Facts), To Which I Bore Witness is a paean to the sound of everything from small towns being felled by natural disasters and unrequited love to perpetual funerals and the sun being blocked out by volcanic ash. Hints of The Body, Graves at Sea, Bell Witch, Year of No Light, Primitive Man and other musical slowpokes slink their way around the album’s six tracks, which also incorporates elements of new age classical, layered orchestration, blackened ambient waves and filmic soundscapes and was written and re-written to the satisfaction of its creators, Gary Thibert (guitars, bass, vocals) and Deniz Güvenç (drums, synths, piano, vocals).
But why not see/hear for yourself via the stream below? When asked for a comment about present life in the They Grieve world, they had this to offer: “After spending years re-writing and fine-tuning these songs, we’ve finally sculpted a sound that we feel at home in. We really had to push ourselves as musicians and work on honing our respective crafts before we could express what we envisioned in our minds. It took a lot of work to blend our post-metal, doom and drone influences in a natural way, without making too many sacrifices or concessions. Lyrically, the struggle was no different. As much as this album is a reflection of our experiences with depression, it also grapples with the notion that some things exceed the grasp of clear and simple representation — that some feelings really cannot be put into words. For us, the failure to express the true weight of despair is part and parcel of despair itself, and in that sense, this album ‘bears witness’ to our existential failure.”
To Which I Bore Witness comes out tomorrow on Silent Pendulum Records and if bearing witness to They Grieve’s existential failure sounds like how you’d like to spend your weekends and days on the beach, go see them live at any of the following dates and check out the links below for info and ordering.