When I saw the release date and the genre I thought I had this record figured. This will be a stroll down the stoner sludge trail with fleeting references to wizards or space dragons. However, whatever I just listened to is something different. From band name to album art to music style, Catapult the Dead is odd. This US atmospheric sludge act sits in a strange spot which skirts easy understanding. This is not groovy sludge with lax views on recreational drugs. I thought 4/20 was a day to you know … do something else besides sitting in limbo tortured by the pains of being.
It should be mentioned Catapult the Dead takes their cues from early post metal bands like Neurosis and Dirge. This type of elongated sludge served as the breeding pool which would later construct what we now know as post metal. Before the style would be almost exclusively be instrumental, bands presented heady atmosphere that plunged into the depths of heavy music with emotional catharsis as their only guiding light. It was heavy metal just set on a longer track and influenced by early post rock bands like Bark Psychosis and Talk Talk. All is Sorrow does this with a heavy addition of synth and enough interesting structures to make one take notice. I thought I had everything figured out and then comes this sobbing curveball.
As of right now, All is Sorrow comes as one seamless track. This sort of makes sense given the strength of the record lies in the times when it is doing very little. The piano interludes and the soft rhythmic guitar strumming makes the heavy parts even more entertaining. Though All is Sorrow reaches out and puts it heart on the line, the bare emotions and the near shrieking vocals make this record a surprising success. I say surprising as first impressions were very different than whatever was felt after the record had ended. All is Sorrow is far from a polished and professionally sounding record yet the talent and handle on musical structure transcends expectations.