Given how dense the underground has become at this point, it’s only natural that we would eventually come across bands that manage to take the extra step when it comes to intensity and potency in such a way that people are all but compelled to gravitate towards what those names have to offer. However, it is in the exceptional circumstances that some bands accomplish through some will that they’ve mustered in the darkness of the world, there’s nothing that can compare to a band that truly cuts loose. While still a relatively new name in the game with its first release only making impact five years ago, Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean has quickly made itself known as an otherworldly force of the worst this existence has to offer with the power and crushing magnitude to match with its latest EP only cementing that fact.
A band’s name is always a bit of a statement to what the musicians are hoping to bring across in their music in some form or another, but it’s only on occasion that we’re presented with a name that not only wholly and truly embodies the sound at work, but gives the listener an instantaneous idea as to what will happen should one step forth into its world. Along with an evocative title, Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean is a tremendous example of what happens when such a concept is taken to the maximum with crystal-clear intentions, and it’s every moment of “I Tried Catching You But You Fell Through Me” that we see that promised followed up on in stupendous fashion one minute after another. Nihilistic in even its lightest moments and downright homicidal in more than a few choice sections, these three tracks are the sort of darkness-shrouded sludge metal that many constantly seek in the style with few capable of delivering a performance as scathing, layered, and somehow deeply personal as what has been presented to us here. This is a record that really takes the concept of staring deep into the abyss and absolutely running with it as it is every possible second of “I Tried Catching You” that Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean goes incredibly far out of its way to ensure that you are feeling each and every ounce of suffering, pain, and unbridled fury that this band has upon the very notion of creation with the only release being the ending of the album itself. Even then, though, you’re left in withdrawal of such an immense presence that you’re all but compelled to launch yourself back into the madness for it is both all to familiar and too delectable with its especially powerful brand of catharsis.
An extreme embodiment of all that the vestiges of sludge metal has ever been capable of containing, the very madness of Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean is not something that can simply be swept aside for all that it manages to summon forth and absolutely dominate with as we can see at every step through this vicious EP. There are few works of the style lately that I’ve found myself utterly pressured by for all that it lets loose and all that it is able to accomplish in such raw catharsis, but it’s made clear right from the beginning that “I Tried Catching You But You Fell Through Me” is anything but a typical experience of the style no matter how jaded of a listener one may be.
LISTEN to “I Tried Catching You But You Fell Through Me” on Bandcamp here.
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