The masses will not enjoy this album on any level. But then, sole Catacombs member Xathagorra Mlandroth probably doesn’t give a tossed fuck about the masses. The man is no stranger to the extreme doom realm – he was a founding member of the cult funeral outfit Hierophant, a band responsible for three bone-pummeling releases from 1999 to 2002, and Catacombs stands a very natural extension of the pulverizing intention of that band.
In the Depths of R’lyeh is not an easy listen. This record will take any semblance of fluffy, happy thoughts and bend them right over the railing for the entirety of its one hour and fifteen minutes. Reference bands such as Tyranny, Esoteric, Thergothon and Disembowlment for an idea of what sort of slow grave to expect. There are no grandiose vocals, no melodic solos, and nary a single chugging riff arrangement or breakdown in sight –– only pounding, MASSIVE riffs, deep, bowel-shuddering vocals, and loads of nightmarishly picked guitars that feel like Cthulu’s tentacles tickling the most deranged corners of the mind.
Again, not something the majority of metal fans will seek out, unless you’ve ever wondered what a mountain’s reluctant decay sounds like. Ten thousand aeons spent ruminating over an unavoidable collapse, basically. And even if that does somehow sound appealing, the added element of derangement in Catacombs‘ sound makes In the Depths of R’lyeh a particularly irrevocable trip into the land of ZERO HOPE, with an end result that feels like the soundtrack to slooooowly slipping away from the light and deeper and deeper into the pitch-black of the ocean’s most terrifying depths. In other words, an essential record for any serious fan of funeral doom.