Monday 18 March 2024

Fathomless Ritual - Hymns For The Lesser Gods

Labels: Transcending Obscurity Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 01 Mar 2024


1. Hecatomb For An Unending Madness

2. Exiled To The Lower Catacombs

3. Gorge Of The Nameless

4. Grafted To The Chambers Of Mirth

5. Wielding The Bone Wand

6. Cosmic Reflections From The Basin Of Blood

7. Gelatinous Being Of Countless Forms

8. Gifts For Aranaktu

I'm often reminded of how much artwork plays a role in the music I buy (in physical form) and review. I invest the time to let the music itself do the talking, but visual art is important too. Nowhere is it more important though than in the death metal genre and that leads me to the focus of this review. Canadian solo tech/prog death metal band Fathomless Ritual released it's debut album Hymns For The Lesser Gods via the ever impressive Indian extreme metal label Transcending Obscurity Records on March 1st. Little did I know that the sole creator behind Fathomless Ritual also performs in Fumes (the same Fumes that featured on a split LP with Celestial Sanctuary, Thorn and Perilaxe Occlusion) and Gutvoid, amongst others. 

The opening song is often difficult to nail, especially on a debut release. ‘Hecatomb For An Unending Madness’ is one that hits with rawness but also technical precision. The guttural, gurgling vocals are a shock to the system when performed alongside the instrumentation, which is more than accomplished. ‘Exiled To The Lower Catacombs’ sees Fathomless Ritual reach for a lengthier composition. In doing so, the band’s death metal takes on a form of it’s own. There’s a significant element of brutal death metal that overpowers the avant-garde instrumentation, especially with the vocals sitting higher in the mix. 

There’s absolutely no denying the quality of the instrumentation on this record, especially on ‘Gorge Of The Nameless’, which is an Atheist/Cynic-esque prog/death song that flows really well. There’s plenty of old-school nastiness seeping through the pores of ‘Grafted To The Chambers Of Mirth’. It’s a welcome addition to the album but the blasting brutality is never too far away either.

The second half of Hymns For The Lesser Gods throws out the meticulously played ‘Wielding The Bone Wand’. It’s tempo never dips, giving the listener a constant pounding. It’s also where the guitar/bass riffs are at their most hypnotic (if that were possible). The title ‘Cosmic Reflections From The Basin Of Blood’ conjures up all kinds of vivid images and they truly match up to the song itself. This one has a little bit more urgency, but that urgency doesn’t affect the band’s precision in any shape or form. If you’re listening to this on bandcamp, make sure you watch the accompanying video as well!

This record goes by way too quickly and before you know you’re getting dragged headfirst into penultimate song ‘Gelatinous Being Of Countless Forms’. It proves that even fast albums can take you on a journey. One that’s filled with imagery inspired by the amazing artwork that adorns it. In what feels like a bit of a contrast, album closer ‘Gifts For Aranaktu’ is a near-seven minute mammoth. It’s not the lumbering, slow beast I was expecting but that’s fine, because there are still some surprises going on. More avant-garde, cosmic riffing fills the speakers and around the five minute mark, you’re greeted with subtle slams and grooving instrumentation that signals the end of the record. 

This record is definitely worth taking time on. I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it as much as I did to be honest, as I can get turned off by some brutal death metal at times; however, this has much more to offer musically and it’s a really strong debut. Old-school murk, technical precision and flourishing progression are all present. Fathomless Ritual will appeal to a whole spectrum of death and extreme metal fans.

You can stream and purchase the album digitally below, where you can also buy countless merch items and physical copies:-

Fathomless Ritual -

Transcending Obscurity Records -

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