Review Summary: Old school death in the vein of Incantation, Autopsy and Morbid Angel… some things just never die.
You've got to have some pride for a band that debuts an album on the Friday the 13th. It means little for the music but manages to speak for the mindset of this new to the scene death metal powerhouse. Grave Miasma sends a message; primal, unrelenting and uncaring for the thoughts of happy people. You would think that this is the very blue print for a death metal band, but it’s what the band does with this stylistic recipe that sets Grave Miasma’s debut apart from the waves and waves of surfacing monotonous acts and in turn highlights ‘Odori Sepulcrorum’ as an un-dying, relatively unknown, old-school death metal record for 2013. Grave Miasma’s 2013 debut is an album worth checking out, not because it re-hashes the death metal vibes of old, but because recreates the fire of old so well.
During ‘Odori Sepulcrorum’ casual listeners will be blown away by some of the year’s most intense, bombarding misanthropic death metal. Those familiar with the genre will still recognize the immense pressure to build as the album progresses; at forty-nine minutes this is one way to sink into Grave Miasma’s hauntingly atmospheric death metal spell. It’s not enough to simply copy those who went before you, these days, if an act follows the path of the pioneers ‘too’ well, they’re frowned upon, shunned, it’s not enough to do it, you need to do it well and provide some substance that identifies your music as being your own. Fortunately, Grave Miasma covers all the bases, without thinking too far out of the box. We’re lucky in this day and age of music that everything is readily available at the click of a button, but it also has its negatives, it takes a while to sort through the mundane to find that proverbial hidden gem. Come 2013, Grave Miasma is that hidden gem.
As for the music, it’s not that different from a modern take on vintage death metal. Gruff vocals, deep, forward thinking riffs and pounding drums all make Grave Miasma’s ‘Odori Sepulcrorum’ such a listenable album. Hell, even a bass line is present throughout the album’s eight tracks. With influences present from early Incantation, Morbid Angel and even the snaking a-typical death metal structures of early Autopsy. But with all these influences there’s still room for Grave Miasma to provide their own distinct, old-school flair. Take “Ovation to a Thousand Lost Reveries” for example. The track itself highlights the ample ability of analogue recording and back to roots song-writing. It allows for the band’s fierce, primal sound to take over, swelling, growing and surpassing the million-dollar clear technical favouring death heads that have surfaced over the years. Galvanising the fact that ‘Odori Sepulcrorum’ is so well received is the fact that the album is not a ‘bash and dash’ old-school death metal release, rather it’s an example of hard work developed over the course of almost ten years. The project started under a different moniker back in 2002 and since, the band has only developed and built upon what was already a solid foundation.
Overall, ‘Odori Sepulcrorum’ is another death metal highlight of 2013, but it steers away from the likes of Ulcerate, Portal, Carcass and Gorguts. Grave Miasma step out triumphantly with their debut full-length that shows a promise that transcends most modern metal releases. It could be said that the band is simply hopping onto trends, but in equal measures, Grave Miasma are turning the OSDM sound. The band knows what they are doing, they know where the sound comes from and more importantly, they put the effort in. ‘Odori Sepulcrorum’ is an album full of death metal promise, if the wheels are figuratively turning, the likes of Grave Miasma are the coal that keeps the train going. If you’re into anything that promotes the old-school vibe, this is a must listen, as it stands, the group’s debut record is quite a spectacle and remains solid throughout its length.