Yes, this is one of those bands where their name, covert art, and album title all conspire to tell you exactly what you’re about to listen to before you do. However, immediately cataloging Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean into neat little frames would be a mistake. On I Carry My Awareness of Defeat like a Banner of Victory, their latest release, they channel plenty of aggression into their brand of bottomless doom (get it?) by injecting it with a punk undercoat that really catches you off guard. Couple all of that with a fierce dedication to intelligent and original lyrics and great literary references, and you get a tight little nugget of fire, fury, and angst. As they are gearing up for another release (Tell Me What You See Vanishing and I Will Tell You Who You Are, out October 25th) this is as good a time as any to tell you to listen to them. Let’s go!


“Holy shit” is the expected response here. After opening with more “standard” sludge riffs, “I’ve Got a Gut Feeling ” explodes with a groove that’s more akin to early The Sword than anything else. But after it’s done with that, it dials the aggression way back up there, hitting from a faster and more punk-influenced direction. Couple that increased tempo with the same tones form the start of the track and you’ve got a whole tower of derision collapsing on top of you. For those who would rather things went slower, really dredging those oceanic depths, look no further than the following “With Every Wrist Outstretched”. Here, the doubling down happens downwards, scattering those riffs into scattered, cavernous chords as the vocals scream themselves to an eventual demise.

Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean is doom/sludge at its finest, shedding off the veil of atmosphere for a mantle of unbridled aggression, justified hate, and contempt for our world as we know it. Watch out for their upcoming release, as it promises to be just as punishing, and consider throwing a few dollars their way.