Epic funeral doom…that's a good way to describe the latest from Catacombs, who are masterminded by US musician Xathagorra Mlandroth, someone who is no stranger to the extreme metal scene, as he also fronts the band Hierophant. However, with Catacombs, Xathagorra aims to take his brand of extreme doom and death metal to even darker and heavier territories, and In the Depths of R'Lyeh is certainly a step in the right direction.
This is some seriously heavy and sludge ridden stuff boys and girls, with absolutely crushing yet suicide inducing guitar riffs, plodding drums, and psychedelic harmony guitar patterns crashing about the mix while the zombie death growls spit and mumble. The first five tracks all go on past the ten-minute mark, and at times you feel every second of them, and was much of the extreme doom scene the tempo can get a little tedious and ponderous at times. However, In the Depths of R'Lyeh is a great sounding CD all things considered. The guitar work, while as depressing and doom laden as watching someone systematically slice their wrist open, absolutely crushes with maximum power and distortion, and the added bits of melodic harmony guitar lines adds enough variance to keep things interesting. The vocals, well, they are for the most part completely incomprehensible, so unless you are checking out the lyrics, you are better off trying to get into the groove and epic scope of it all rather than trying to follow some sort of story. A song like "At the Edge of the Abyss" almost sounds like Nile on Quaaludes, if you can imagine that.
If you dig the extreme doom genre, and I'm not talking Black Sabbath, Candlemass, and Trouble, then you should have plenty to dive into here. However, if variety is your thing, this latest from Catacombs might be a tad monotonous for you. I give credit to Xathagorra though, as he's put together some bitchin' sludge here that certainly shakes the early and leaves you with a dark, cold, and ominous feeling straight to your bones.
1) In the Depths of R'Lyeh
2) Dead Dripping City
3) At the Edge of the Abyss
4) Where No Light Hath Shone (But For That of the Moon)
5) Fallen Into Shadow
6) Awakening of the World's Doom (Reprise)