Review: Plague of Carcosa – Ocean Is More Ancient Than The Mountains

The violence and mystery of our planet’s oceans have been a source of inspiration for art as far back as we can imagine. This also applies of course to metal, from Iron Maiden‘s Coleridge inspired The Rime of The Ancient Mariner to Mastodon’s Moby Dick inspired concept album Leviathan, it is clear Earth’s vast bodies of water have the potential to be filled with the deadliest of monsters. Here, with two seismic slabs of mesmerising instrumental doom, Plague of Carcosa add their own H.P Lovecraft inspired paean to the oceans.

The EP opens with the mammoth sounding feedback of ‘The Crawling Chaos’, ringing out until the first punishing riff crashes like a wave just after the one minute mark. Bolstered by thundering drums and wet, sweeping cymbal crashes, the fuzz drenched riffs are as commanding as the ocean itself, pulling the listener deeper in and drowning them in a thick wall of distortion. And so into the ten minute plus epic ‘Madness At Sea’, a piece of music written as tribute to the chapter of the same name in Lovecraft’s The Call of the Cthulhu. Opening with an unbelievably fat, fuzz filled riff that alternates between deep down dirty licks to unsettling feedback squeals, the track comes alive when the thunderous drums roar to life, the wet cymbal crashes bringing to mind giant waves crashing down. Around the songs midpoint, the drums become the focus as the guitar chords are allowed to ring out creating an all encompassing wall of sound for the pummelling toms and crashing cymbals to move around in – is this what succumbing to madness at sea feels like? Amidst the terror, when they arrive, the guitar leads are simply gorgeous, expanding the song into something otherworldly and mind expanding, as wide and deep as the ocean itself. Simply put, they sound fucking huge. 

As the EP ends (drowns?) in a swirl of feedback and noise one is left reeling from the sheer power of the two colossal tracks on offer here. It’s testament to the talents and songwriting skills of Plague of Carcosa to have created such powerful work in two instrumental pieces – vocals are simply not needed with riffs like these.

Ocean Is More Ancient Than The Mountains is out 19th July via Sludgelord Records and can be purchased here.

Words: Adam Pegg

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