Monday 9 December 2013

Grave Miasma - Odori Sepulcrorum (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 13/9/2013
Label : Sepulchral Voice Records

Odori Sepulcrorum, album track listing :

1). Death's Meditative Trance 6:06
2). Ascension Eye 7:03
3). Ovation to a Thousand Lost Reveries 6:02
4). Εέσχατος 6:05
5). Odoratus Sepulcrorum 7:31
6). Interlude 1:18
7). Seven Coils 8:31
8). Ossuary 6:06

Bio :

Odori Sepulcrorum" promises to mark the next stage of the Death Metal evolution.  Contained are eight tracks of the heaviest, darkest and most noxious Death Metal in existence.  Like vultures feasting on carrion, ‘Odori Sepulcrorum’ will intuitively infect your veins.  The record contains an experimental streak with traditional instrumentation and chants utilised to transport the listener towards an endless void. 

Review :

Occult death metal from London; Grave Miasma are legends on the underground scene and are finally unleashing their full length debut. The sound is big and surprisingly spacey. A rather chilling production style permeates the overall sound and its reverb drenched horror suits the band well.

“Death's Meditative Trance” is weighty and crawling with big drums and big growled vocals. The pace is slow for DM and incorporates an almost black metal sensibility in its creeping melodies.

“Ascension Eye” makes full use of the drum kit from the off and sounds, frankly, horrific. The vocals come thick and fast, echoing and overlaying, while the guitars create an insistent sense of dread. The pace picks up in sections before the fast bass drum-slow snare pattern resumes. There are twists and turns in the middle of the track before refrains are repeated.  A very doomy vibe takes over the lower sections- atmospheric stuff.

“Ovation to a Thousand Lost Reveries” kicks off at a feverish pace then repeats the riff but with a much slower drum tempo- a classic trick. Odd leads punctuate the closing sections of the song.  The song lengths are gratifyingly epic- not one of the first half of the record's tracks goes beneath six minutes and only “Interlude” in the second half (somewhat predicatably) does not reach the first half's bench mark.

“Eschatos” is menacing indeed. The guitars are reverbed to the extreme with bursts of pace and crawling darkness juxtaposing each other very effectively.  “Odoratus Sepulcrorum” represents a title track of sorts and thus encapsulates the pluses of the album. It combines a long playing time with many disparate sections and a rather fantastic and spacey sequence around the two minute mark. The musicianship is excellent and the overall atmosphere is pervasively dark and bleak. Tempos shift and grooves are locked into before fury takes hold again. A very intriguing and twisting path!

The aforementioned “Interlude” is guitar atmospherics with some excellent production and mixing tricks. It sets the stage (darkly) for “Seven Coils” with a flourish of percussion that becomes integral to the opening of the track. Once again, bleakness dominates proceedings- even through the blasting sections. The track is again unpredictable over its eight minutes plus and quite ferocious in places. Dissection sprang to my mind more than once over the album's duration- the style is not similar necessarily, but the atmosphere is, as is some of the fury.

“Ossuary” lumbers into earshot with slow forceful rhythms from drums and guitars. The album thus closes on a downbeat and relentless note- dark riffs and rolling bass drums colliding in a bottomless pit of despair.

This record is one for those of you who enjoy bleak, dark records that are difficult to pigeon-hole. It has elements of death metal (don't think Cannibal Corpse, though), elements of black metal (Dissection, not Darkthrone) and the bleakness of bands like Dragged Into Sunlight. It is mesmerising stuff and well worth spending your hard earned cash on. Support the underground and support Grave Miasma.

Words by : Richard Maw

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