Those are some of the lyrics of Monty Python's 'Galaxy Song', which contain a lot of truth. The universe is ever expanding, or at least, that's what most scientists assume these days. We all know scientific data and sumptions can change from time to time. After all everything changes, from the universe to that typical human behaviour we call 'music'. Music evolves, incorporates different elements and influences and continuously alters directions, intensity and atmosphere.
Some musical styles are perfectly suited to depict the immense vastness of our galaxy and everything beyond. Ambient clearly is one of them, so is post-rock or post-metal. Rolling Through The Universe (RTTU), for example, seems to be influenced by the incredible vastness of outer space. This sludge quartet from Portland, OR (USA) now comes up with their third full-length, named 'Lethe'.
RTTU has been around for several years, perfecting their slow, intensely heavy sound. The result is a crushing album with six songs, inspired by the likes of Isis, Neurosis, High On Fire and Yob. Somewhere in between these bands is the perfect spot for RTTU, probably causing a black hole where escape is impossible and doom is indeed imminent. If these Americans would indeed roll through the universe with their music, it would certainly cause some demolishing shockwaves through the galaxy.
The album contains of six tracks and opens with title track 'Lethe'. This song actually combines the most enjoyable elements of post-rock, sludge and doom metal so it's no wonder this is my favourite track. Elaborate instrumental passages alternate with brutal leaden riffs and typical sludge vocals to create a vast song with a lot of variation and the perfect amount of dark energy.
The somewhat shorter songs don't really incorporate the post-rock/metal influences but focus on riff-loaded doom metal, hammering loudly through your eardrums and destroying everything inside. If played loud enough, you will indeed feel the pressure growing inside your head. That's what good music does, it makes you feel something, physically. RTTU understand that and gracefully roll on with this massive sonic spacecraft.
Closer 'Subject of Discord' opens with a very strong piece of post-metal and quickly becomes on of my favourite tracks on this album, along with 'Lethe'. This final track is immense, the longest one and also the heaviest one I think. Apart from the elements I mentioned earlier, there's a solid amount of death metal riffs present. With songs like these, RTTU proves that they're a very skilled band that knows how to bring the necessary variation to keep an album interesting for the full duration. For sludge-adepts this is certainly a worthy addition to their collection.