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Catacombs of Doom – Patibulum

Published:

Last Updated on 07:50 PM by Giorgos Tsekas

Genre: Ritual Ambient
Country: Greece
Label: Mercyfull Hell Productions
Year: 2016 (instrumental 2012)

Ritual ambient could be described as an unsettling genre in general. It’s for a targeted audience and rarely gets too much attention, apart from the people already in the community built around it, while it often makes even the most hardcore fans uncomfortable when listening to it.

Enter Catacombs of Doom. This Greek band was formed in 2006 as an one man project by Basilis K., and since then there have been countless participations in compilations and split releases with similar projects. It soon grew into a full band, when Donn (from the black metal band Teutoburg Forest) joined, along with Dimitris Kalyvas to finally form a three piece.

“Patibulum” is the second full length of the group, consisting of nine compositions in total. The record is pretty much a mix of dark ambient and ritual ambient with a black metal feeling, focused on the use of samples, synths and vocals. It has variety and the different parts blend nicely together, I believe it can be appreciated the most through headphones during the hour of the wolf.

Compared to previous works, this is a more dedicated offer, with a darker and grimmer atmosphere. The bass stomps heavily, the various eerie sounds are well placed and above all stands the vocal work, which goes with screams, whispers and growls. It’s an esoteric experience and every track is special, giving something different to the listener each time.

I think the band tries to create a soundtrack of the darkest times of human history and specifically the medieval ages, as the band name suggests as well. From the first track “The Great Worm” the listener feels trapped alone somewhere cold, while the second “Gloria Luciferian Seditio” is as ominous and creepy as the first. One standout track for me is the nine and a half minute “Bucolic Ecstatic Ritual”, a haunting track perfectly described by it’s title.

“Peregrinatio” is full of dissonant lines, with the use of deep synths and bells as well as distant vocals in the background, building towards a more dark ambient / dungeon synth part towards the end. Another piece I find appealing is the third track “Corpus Animus”, which has a very melancholic part towards the end that reminds of atmospheric / depressive black metal and is really touching, one of the most touching moments of the album for me.

“Patibulum” closes with a cover of the classic track “Fainted Eyes” by Celtic Frost. It’s the most classic track of the album, as it has the distorted guitars and the drums, in case someone expected a dark ambient cover of the song. It’s lo-fi sound is raw and cold and the shrieked vocals are powerful and close to the style of early Leviathan or Xasthur, making it a nice ending for the album.

Catacombs of Doom are not for everyone, but as a ritual ambient album, it’s very solid, with lot’s of ideas and clearly thought through. The influences of primitive black metal, horror, dark arts and the middle ages produced this obscure gem of the genre and we’re now waiting for more material.

4/6

VJ
VJ
The gate of the cavern is despair, and its floor is paved with the gravestones of abandoned hopes. There Self must die; there the eagerness, the greed of untamed desire must be slain, for only so can the soul be freed from the empire of Fate.

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