Congenital Hell – Into the Doom

Congenital Hell – Into the Doom – 2.5/5

And so it was through looking for any news on a new ‘Gallhammer’ release that I discovered this bizarre side-project of Vivian Slaughter, where she provided the lead vocals for Gallhammer here she presents a saxophone to the proceedings. Perhaps best described as an Experimental Sludge/Doom/Black type outfit, this needless to say had caught my attention, but sadly despite its absolute bizarre nature, becomes all too easily monotonous and forgotten.

The drums are one of the few aspects that feel consistent, displaying no flare but constantly maintaining a beat to keep the rest of the instrumentation in time, which is no small feat in itself. It is on top of this that the guitars produce for the most part basic riffs, at times becoming lost through the other instrumentation. The riffs that are provided could perhaps suffice for a 5 minute track, being interesting and relatively catchy with a thick sludge-like distortion, but when repeated for the best part of a 36 minute track, suffice to say it gets old well before the tracks conclusion.

The use of saxophone is done in a shrill manner, at times feeling like simple feedback and bringing into question whether she actually knows how to play, as for much of the tracks duration the rapid fluctuations in pitch seem random and sporadic, resulting in a chaotic tone over the perhaps more depressive backing atmosphere. The vocals, too, feel like another instrument to be utilised, displaying a raw high pitched blackened growl with production low enough to feel like a distant monotonously droning heavily distorted instrument.

With a run time of 66 minutes and 6 seconds, it all feels as though it’s something of a bad joke. I could perhaps see more to this if each layer presented their own interesting line throughout the track (e.g. Birushanah) but that simply never arrives. The result is a chaotic despair filled atmosphere that’s unconventional to say the least, but ultimately feels rather disappointing.

Highlight: Solitude