Friday, January 26, 2018

Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean - Decay and Other Hopes Against Progress (2017)

I wouldn't say this one slipped though the cracks for me. I just never got around to reviewing it. However after months of keeping it on the back burner as something I would like to review and recommend, I revisited this tasty sludge morsel, and sure enough I like it just as much as I did when I first listened to it. Maybe even more this time around!
I mean come on, look at their fucking name! They couldn't of picked a better name for themselves that sums up the dreadful doom and gloom that is their sound. Mixing Sludge Doom with a little bit of Post-Metal in there, Chained to the Bottom of The Ocean have waves of heavy riffage to drown you with. I think what I like the most about CTTBOTO is that they aren't trying to imitate anyone and that's pretty fucking amazing for a first release. I mean there's definitely hints of things here and there. I mean while they don't sound exactly like them, the only other Sludge band that comes to mind that is going along in a similar trajectory is Thou. They revel in detuned slow sludginess, but also have a hankering for non metal leanings as well. It's safe to say their pool of ideas is deep with vast influences. 
The strings on this have a really fat low end distorted sound, with tides of feedback and ghost trails of feedback to help create the threatening mood of duress and aquatic imprisonment. All of this kind of disappears when the band switches from all out aggression to Post Rock/Metal Exploration, relying more on dissonant atonal chord pairings using higher notes, rather than power chord drones. The vocals on this album, really fucking cut like rusty knife. Jagged, Primal, and Agonizingly Brutal, don't expect anything clean about the way they sound. Definitely a Black Metal quality to them. I think what's also interesting is that the vocals never change throughout this release. Not even for the aforementioned Post-Metal parts. 
Well, I really dug this album. I've listened to it a lot over the last couple of days while trying to prep for this review, and I feel like I missed the boat for not putting this on my best of list for 2017. CTTBOTO deliver on their first album what many bands strive to do on their third or fourth release. Who knows what the future brings for this band, but whatever it is, count me in! Cheers! -Samir

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