Saturday, September 30, 2017
Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean : "Decay and Other Hopes Against Progress"
I have seen this band from Springfield described in a few different fashions. Most of which played up the doom side of the band, but I think a more honest assessment could sum this up by saying they are a more dismal version of Eyehategod. Once you get further into the opening song it drops down to a more doomy bass line and you begin to hear they do not share the same punk rock roots as Eyehategod. Equal parts sludge and doom, the screamed vocals are abrasive enough to steer them more towards being a sludge band. The guitar shows more restraint and offers some introspection on the second song, though the vocals come at you with the same aggression. Vocally this colors the song with one dimension. So by the time we are at "Four Cubits and a Span" the pounding has already slightly numbed us to the heaviness. The riffs pulls you in a little more with its chug.
While riffs are arranged with an odd angular feel there is still a great deal of melodicism in them. The vocals go into a more spoken words type narrative sitting pretty far back in the mix. The fuzzed out distortion sounds more blown out going into "Hollow Feeds the Emptying Death". The shuffle of the song has more of a blue bleached boogie to it's flavor of more swampy doom.When listening to with headphones on it seems there is an intentional under-produced feel here, making it seem like they just plugged right into their amps, some of you might like this sounds and even prefer it. It makes for a more what you heard is what you get experience live. The is more feedback and the dirty sound remains on "Escape! Harmony is Disclosure". The first minute it sounds like they are pounding ass they ponder how to actually get into the songs. This is something they don't agrees on until the powerful rumble of the song kicks in. This has more of the sludge like density to it. The riff does however develop a groove that is easier to listen to.
So when they embrace doom and the more groove oriented elements of sludge then these guys step out from behind the shadow cast over them by Eyehategod. Perhaps you do not feel it is fair to compare them or any band to Eyehategod since the whole genre of this kind of thing was created by them and it's like comparing a doom band to Black Sabbath. To those people I extend my middle finger and say it's the bands job to show me who they are otherwise I can just listen to Sabbath or Eyehategod, so give me a reason to listen to Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean. This can be problematic for many sub genres of metal. I'll give this a 7.5.