Grave Miasma

Odori Sepulcrorum

Written by: EW on 25/11/2013 16:09:00

Having reviewed a fair amount of dross lately it has been reassuring through my repeated playbacks of Grave Miasma's "Odori Sepulcrorum" just how evidently they mean business right from the outset. It's as if all those other bands, floundering around looking for any kind of style or passion as they are, have simply disappeared from my mind in an instant. None of them may have been of the ghoulish, decrepit death metal played by these London boys but that doesn't matter; not all bands can play like they truly mean it, and in this case, not so often do bands exhibit such a truly ominous, deep sound. This aspect is vital to GM; death metal these days is largely populated by polished brutality (see Behemoth, Dying Fetus, Nile) or teenage boys believing a plethora of detuned beatdowns will do the job. Yes there are other notable similar bands to Grave Miasma, but to have something so well-versed in it's heritage and execution remains a rare commodity.

While there are highlight moments within these eight tracks, it is the overall flow within the 48 minutes that is it's biggest compliment. Formed of multiple sections within each song, at numerous points do riffs coalesce with surprising adeptness and, dare I say it, beauty, given the ugly image projected by the band. These transitions segue between Asphyx-ian and Incantation moments of swampy oblivion, through Autopsy-esque pounding rhythms and back to ancient Morbid Angel squeals of chaos at frequent intervals harnessing the power of the cavernous sound emitted from all members' instruments and Y's grating vocals (the band only go by single letter initials). The wall of highly reverberating guitars, an anchoring bass sound and the brilliant thumping drumsound of D have been mixed to generate some truly eerie passages - take the early half of the title track to disprove to the ill-educated out there that to be this heavy necessitates a) speed, or b) beatdowns. Let's not forget R and Y on guitars too; "Ascension Eye" is perhaps the best example of the variation in tones used by the duo when soloing; it may sound like a small matter but the means through which they pull away from the thundering rhythm to exact it's torturous howl on the listener before slotting back in is so consummate and a great boon to the madness sought by Grave Miasma in their music.

Far from being an unintelligent blaster throughout, small touches of experimentation litter the record, from the Persian sitar at the start of "Seven Coils" and the atmosphere-inducing hammond organ heard intermittently. Their usage helps diversify the sound, which even so still starts to become a little tiresome by the latter stages. The deep, bassy production renders the cataclysmic depths of "Odori Sepulcrorum" the success it is as the faster moments, as powerful as are, are muffled by the low-end distortion making their interpretation a little tricky even after many listens. Still, I am deeply impressed by the dominating power and variable song structures of Grave Miasma here as the temptation to avoid a standard cavernous death metal record has been espoused in the name of a thumping, enraptured beast of an album that will do the band no harm at all against the other strong acts in this field.


Download: Ascension Eye, Ovation To A Thousand Lost Reveries
For The Fans Of: Necros Christos, Incantation, Dead Congregation, Asphyx
Listen: Facebook

Release date: 13.09.2013
Sepulchral Voice Records

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