In The Depths of R'Lyeh
posted on 3/2006 By:
Dooooooooooooooooooom that’ll seep into your blood and cause you to turn on the ones you love.
This review is not being written in hopes of converting the masses to this style of Doom. In fact, the masses will not enjoy this album on any level. But then again, sole member, Xathagorra Mlandroth, doesn’t give a tossed fuck about the masses. This doomed endeavor - In The Depths of R’yleh - was birthed for very personal reasons, and likely as a necessary, cathartic cosmos for its creator and the relatively small world of Extreme Doom aficionados. This galling album is filled with such pounding migraine-ic madness, it will take your fluffy, happy thoughts, defile them, piss on them, and leave them wandering your brain in straight jacketed madness.
Xathagorra Mlandroth is no stranger to the Extreme Doom field. He was a founding member of cult Doom outfit Hierophant, a band responsible for three bone-pummeling releases from 1999 to 2002. Following their demise, Xathagorra decided to begin his own calamity under the name Catacombs, releasing one EP, Echoes Through The Catacombs, and this, his first official full length. And what a ponderous offering he has delivered unto us, dear reader.
In case my point has not yet come across, In The Depths of R’yleh is not an easy listen…not by any stretch of the imagination. This is a Doom album for those who enjoy bands such as Tyranny, The Esoteric, Thergothon, and Disembowelment. There are no grandiose vocals, no grief stricken solos, and nary a chugging riff pattern or breakdown in sight - only pounding, plodding, massive riffs, deep, bellowed, bowel shuddering vocals, and creepy, nightmarishly insane guitar pickings. This is definitely not the kind of album one would listen to while entertaining friends, watering the lawn, or driving around town. It is, however, the perfect album for plaintive, disturbing, truthful reflection and brooding meditation. For example, I found immense enjoyment listening to this album as I wandered around some of the filthier streets of downtown Oakland in the rain. I watched a homeless man pace back and forth in full conversation with himself during the oppressive assault that is “Fallen Into Shadow”. I watched garbage eddy about an abandoned lot during the bleak hymn “Dead Dripping City”. And I sat and studied some beautiful graffiti work during the relentless pounding of “Where No Light Hath Shone (But for The Moon)”. It was a very cleansing, satisfying afternoon, and one definitely enhanced by this fine slab of woe.
I also tip my hat to The Old Goat and the rest of the fiends at Moribund Cult Records. Once again they have chosen to drift from their staple of Black Metal releases to bring us In The Depths of R’yleh. They are quickly becoming a major force as far as labels releasing extreme Metal are concerned. I submit the album cover (Cthulu rising) as one of the better ones I’ve seen this year as well. It fits the atmosphere of the album perfectly.
Fans of the genre are likely aware of this release already, but I can definitely say the following with conviction - In The Depths of R’yleh is an essential addition to any Extreme Doom collection.
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