Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean’s latest release rips. There’s no other words to describe Tell Me What You See Vanishing and I Will Tell You Who You Are, the three track, twenty some minute EP. The riffs are crunchy, sludgey DIY doom chords that uplift your ears and tear open your head. The weight of decayed churches presses down on your lungs with every downbeat, nothing but putrid air and brimstone escapes your mouth. It’s deliciously sick and brutal, metal at it’s finest. It’s traditional, not in a “done before way” but in a way that gets even metalhead-adjacent freaks like me going. The lyrics are expectedly dark, the guitar expectedly heavy, the drums expectedly blasting away.
Also the first song is a cover of Death Cab for Cutie, which is unexpected and hilarious, and it shreds. Genuinely, CTTBOTO’s spin on “I Will Possess Your Heart” is a yearlong favorite. It’s so harsh and doom-y you can barely feel the Death Cab for Cutie alt-rock background, but trust me, it’s there. The vocals shriek out over distorted, fuzzed out guitar- “You’ve got to spend some time, love/ You’ve got to spend some time with me/ I know that you’ll find love/ I will possess your heart.” It’s the key mantra of the song, and turned a doom-y growl it sounds all the more malicious and sinister. It’s shifted over to that classic doom metal crawl, wistful piano giving way to the industrial shriek of overdriven guitars. These are obviously some folks who can have fun while doing some serious music.
The other two songs on the EP are what you’d expect from a Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean release: Guttural howls and shrieks emanate from the tongues and hands of the passionate and the heretical alike. Every instrumental is beautiful in its brutality, creating a sense of honesty. The lyrics toy with apocalyptic imagery and introspective fatalism. It’s a call to reject all masters. We hear it in the closing song, “Genesis of the Daffodil” “We ache for pleasures/ Over discipline, over virtue/ Over purity, over decency.” A bleak anarchist utopia where we have killed all our Gods and all our Kings, but are still left wanting more. Hedonism with purpose. These images collide together with the powerful riffs, creating twisting soundscapes of blood and metal. “Genesis of the Daffodil” especially creates a thrumming sense of dark certainty, the final chord sounds and we are left alone again, here, in the dark.