Sick Riffs: Andy Gibbs teaches you the sludgy, chromatic wrecking ball of Thou's Ancestral Recall

Sick Riffs #127: Thou's latest offering – a collaboration with American baritone sorceress Emma Ruth Rundle entitled May Our Chambers Be Full – is a record that refuses to be pigeonholed.

Its crossover writing style is apparent from the get-go, with opening track Killing Floor employing drop-tuned, distorted guitar tones to underpin the ethereal arrangement that floats above.

Ancestral Recall, the record's lead-off single, is no different. It weaves Ruth Rundle's silky vocal lines amongst Thou frontman Bryan Funck's aggressive screaming and guitarists Andy Gibbs and Matthew Thudium's sludgy six-string lines, with intoxicatingly heavy results.

Gibbs joins us in today's episode of Sick Riffs to take you through one of the track's chromatic-driven riffs, and he does so wielding a 2015 Gibson Les Paul electric guitar through a Musicman HD-130 combo amp and an ‘80s ProCo RAT distortion pedal.

Says the guitarist, “Though quarantine has kept me from practicing and playing live with my band, it’s forced me to do a lot of work alone and pursue a number of projects I wouldn't have had the time to complete.”

Support Thou

Sick Riffs is a Guitar World video series designed to help guitarists affected by the coronavirus. Self-isolating players around the world have each filmed a lesson where they teach you one of their own guitar riffs, up close and personal. If you dig the lesson, we encourage you to buy music and merch from the artist or stream their music.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.