As much as Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean's impressively murky, hellishly enveloping instrumental elements command awe, it's the vocals that slice through the muddy chaos that really hammer the whole package home. On their new EP I Tried Catching You But You Fell Through Me, the band's anonymous vocalist provides a snarling narration that lends a story to the elusive group's downcast sentiments. The vocals' crisp nastiness is a nice contrast to everything else: reverb-drenched drums that sound like they're being played from inside a diving bell, a concrete-etching bass tone, and riffs so laden with cynical torpor they feel in danger of grinding to a halt at any moment.

Vocals often feel like an afterthought in non-traditional doom metal, but Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean seems to take special care in making sure not only are they fully audible, but that the words delivered cut as deep as possible. It's elaborate, tortured poetry spat out with dire accompaniment, and there's an extra gut-wrenching weight on top of the band's crushing doom that comes from comprehending what they actually have to say--it's, uh, not too optimistic. Get a taste of that with "Suffering is a Gift from God," streaming below.

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I Tried Catching You But You Fell Through Me releases December 9th independently via Bandcamp.

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