From complete obscurity comes this brand new Bay Area avant-doom combo called CATAPULT THE DEAD (supposedly the name of the band refers to ancient practice of catapulting plague-ridden corpses beyond city walls as the first form of biological warfare). A band that has lurked in the shadows of the complete unknown for the past couple of years or so, silently working on their debut effort, and now finally releasing it in its full and final form for the first time. This work is a wonderful example of complete artistic freedom and emancipation, with the entire band spending months in the studio silently writing and recording everything on their own and dedicating the last year of their lives to the their angst-ridden, but extremely heartfelt, craft. The result is something dark and sorrowful, but driven by a keen sense of melody and shrouded in a magnetic and enveloping atmosphere.
Intended to be one single thirty seven-minute opus (supposedly the score of an unreleased horror movie also done by the band itself), for the sake of easier fruition the band has also offered the opus split up into individual movements as separate tracks, allowing the listener to go from one side of this doom monolith to the other, to explore with ease every corner of its vast and oceanic sonic plateau and to be able to look at it from different angles. What’s unusual about All Is Sorrow is that it is a keyboard and organ-driven doom album, something you do not normally witness in the world of doom, normally centered on loud and monolithic guitars and crushing drums. In this case, the band have crafted something more eerie and ambiguous with the guitars that tend to sit back in the mix, creating a haunting backdrop to the keys and synths and allowing for the keyboards to roam freely throughout the record, designing surreal and intriguing patterns or puzzling and sinister post-industrial metal. Anyone familiar with the more recent developments of modern doom and post-metal will easily recognize the influence that bands like Neurosis, Yob, Mouth of the Architect, Isis, Cult of Luna, Rosetta and Pelican have had on the band, and just as in the case of those renowned bands, CATAPULT THE DEAD have also managed to craft an abstract and darkened hybrid of post-rock, sludge metal and hardcore that lives equally off of towering rage mixed with moments of decaying and placid minimalism. But as mentioned before, this album sounds different from the notable and familiar influences it draws from. It’s Gothic and almost baroque feeling that comes from the towering layering of keyboards is something you don’t normally come across in this genre and has set the band completely apart from the rest when it comes to atmospheric sludge metal and post-hardcore. The band have a cassette tape out now on the Bay Area’s iconic tape label Hash Crimes, so be sure to check out the album below (in both the full one track format and the split up one) and to pick up a tape, as this is truly something new and exciting to hear for any fan of the genre.