For many metal fans, metal is the form of music that speaks to them the most during dark times; music that isn’t afraid of the subject of low points, crippling mental health or exploring unyielding sorrow, and thus is often that supporting and helping crutch we often hold on to for dear life. It is in this school of harrowing thought that Puyallup, Washington’s Ergo I Exist dwell in with their debut album The Depths providing an emotive ride into the abyss.
The Depths is reminiscent of the likes of Deafheaven and Amenra in the way it veers from dynamics, from near serene yet bleak mellow passages through to sheer pulverising heaviness and the air of pure desperation and fury in a way that feels both cathartic and relatable. Album opener ‘Infamous’ for example begins gradually into an explosion of pure power and a sludge-like, pulverising pace. The title track provides the highlight of the album and once again builds upon itself, as prolonged melodic guitar passages provide some sense of uplifting amongst the murk, a moment which will not fail to move you.
Then ‘Bochdalek’ in comparison, feels much more ferocious and in your face with a faster, almost punky feel to it; and a clear lyrical fascination on ‘The Old Blood’ of FromSoftware’s Bloodborne. Oddly, it’s this that closes the album; a contrasting song to much of the rest of the album and its weakest point, so the sharp end feels too abrupt an end in relation to the drawn-out, expansive and bleakness of the rest of the album.
This minor issue aside, The Depths is a phenomenal debut album that will stop you in your tracks both in its technicality in composition and its emotional range. This is an album perfectly suited for those contemplative, directionless walks or for venting within a darkened room whilst it immerses you. This is a hugely impressive debut which cannot be overlooked.