There’s been a buzz around the metal community for a month or more now. This album has been picking up accolades across the board and would appear to be something quite special.
I usually try very hard not to read reviews on albums that I’m about to or likely to end up reviewing, just so I’m not going in with too many preconceptions. It would appear I’m a bit late to the party on this one though. Therefore, I’ve already heard the “better than Lamb of God” comparisons and the “album of the year contender” claims. I’ve also had Gojira’s awesome new album on regular rotation in the past week, so ‘From the Depths’ has a lot to live up to!
In I go then…
Karybdis take their name from a sea monster from Greek mythology, so the introduction on first track ‘Minotaur’ is suitably filled with watery atmosphere. The boat ride into ‘From the Depths’ is a short-lived one however and as the guitars start to resonate from the distance, the relaxing intro is your last chance to catch your breath. Rich O’Donnell’s brutal roar welcomes you to the business end of the track.
Karybdis have a vast plethora of sounds going on. Nothing particularly unique, but when all of the groove, death, black and technical bits come out of the mixer gleaming as brightly as on this album…well I suppose it IS unique really! Karybdis merge together influences new and old with ease and come out with a sound so powerful that it could easily part any sea.
The vocals are predominantly a bowel-bothering death roar, but stray into blacker territory at times when the pace picks up. The music is made up of so many great parts it hard to describe. There’s straight forward Pantera-groove, followed by intricate twiddly bits, metalcore breakdowns, classic metal riffs and huge atmospheric pieces cut straight from the Scandinavian scene. Plus a lot more!
It may take a couple of listens to fully appreciate ‘From the Depths’ but with all this majestic chaos going on, it never seems over-bearing. The balance between the various styles and paces are nailed to near perfection. It’s no easy ride though, any calmer waters on the album, such as the brief chill-out on ‘I Say’, are just there to set you up for another smash to the face. The album is a relentless dash and when you get to the end you’ll never believe it was nearly 50 minutes long. It is gripping stuff that you will be unavoidably immersed in (no more water puns, I promise!).
So back to those preconceptions. Better than Lamb of God? This album beats ‘Resolution’ for sure but Karybdis are a much heavier band than LOG have ever been. Album of the year? Definitely a top ten botherer for me! It’ll go the distance with Gojira too!
Put simply ‘From the Depths’ is an awesome album. I can only apologise for arriving at the party so late.