Ossuarium
Living Tomb


3.5
great

Review

by Sean H. CONTRIBUTOR (117 Reviews)
February 3rd, 2019 | 70 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Spacious, albeit goofy, murk

One of the first things to strike me about Living Tomb, the first full-length release from Portland death-doom band Ossuarium, is the production. After the gong hit ends the introduction track, “Blaze of Bodies” hits with a powerful punch, but one that is cloaked in dense fog. The wide-reaching reverb that soaks this record gives the music a strange atmosphere, one that very much matches the album cover. It’s cold, foggy, swampy, and abandoned, like remnants of something once grand. There’s an almost fantastical air amongst these tracks that separates the general tone from obvious influences like Autopsy and Cianide. The way the vocals seem to bounce off the walls makes it seem like the only other living thing occupying this ruin with you is constantly just ahead, waiting to do God knows what to you.

On second thought, maybe it's not quite that serious.

The song compositions, while borrowing from many past and present USDM groups, smoothly transition from slow burn moments of foreboding anticipation to adrenaline pumping segments of violent action. Throughout the ebbs of adrenaline are incredibly infectious melodies, like that descending “Corrosive Hallucinations” riff at 4 minutes in or that nasty groove at the start of “Writhing in Emptiness,” that feel made for the pit, but don’t take away from the cold atmosphere. It’s all very cheesy, the setting and the general aura, but the fun sort of cheesy you’d get from a well constructed Dungeons and Dragons crypt or one of the many dank pits featured in the Lord of the Rings. In other words, it’s far from legitimately anxiety inducing, but layers on the cavernous environment that a title like Living Tomb promises.

It’s not perfect by any means, it’s a somewhat predictable record that doesn't deviate far from the norm. Compared to Cenotaph Obscure from a few months ago (or really any of Obliteration’s records) and the bands these guys borrow from, it lacks nuance and innovation, but it’s undeniably fun and surprisingly immersive. This style really allows for less unique takes on the genre to still feel great, and once it gets going around “Writhing in Emptiness,” it goes until the last second of “End of Life Dreams and Visions Pt. 2,” effectively delivering a much stronger back half. With the kind of charisma that (presumably) translates into a killer stage presence and enough riffs to choke a small animal, Ossuarium has put themselves firmly on my radar. This is a very good start, enough to draw attention in a sea of 20 Buck Spin contemporaries.



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user ratings (61)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
TheSpirit CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Flames lick flesh....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2019


2816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

stream: https://listen.20buckspin.com/album/living-tomb

Thanks to granitenotebook for helping :3

Digging: The Austerity Program - Bible Songs 1

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2019


9676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dis nice review over here

brainmelter
February 3rd 2019


6506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice I just heard this on bc this morning

Digging: Grey Aura - 2: De bezwijkende deugd

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2019


16298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Murk. Do I need more murk in my life? Yes I do.



Sharp as always Bloonman m/

Digging: Lingua Ignota - Caligula

AdolfChrist
February 3rd 2019


21632 Comments


Oh shit, cool to see this got a review already, i was waiting for this album to release.

Digging: Vulture (DE) - Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2019


25596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review bruv! I love this album. Great atmosphere.

Hawks
February 3rd 2019


72528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gonna jam.

Digging: Falls of Rauros - Patterns in Mythology

botb
February 3rd 2019


13085 Comments


Oh shit I forgot this was dropping, the first track they released was sick

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2019


2816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First song is really good, idk which is my favorite, possibly Writhing in Emptiness

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2019


2816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also thanks everyone! Really glad to review a DM album, feels like I haven't in a while

DungeonBoy
February 4th 2019


6269 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good album, interesting moments are few and far between the textbook OSDM album we've heard 100 times. Vomiting Black Death is a killer track

Digging: Falls of Rauros - Patterns in Mythology

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2019


2816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lots of bops here

dbizzles
February 4th 2019


13299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This kind of outstays its welcome, but some of the sections and songs are exactly my shit.

Digging: Two People - First Body

AdolfChrist
February 4th 2019


21632 Comments


this is awesome.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2019


25596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah this fucking kills

CaptainDooRight
February 4th 2019


4091 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

love the production on this 5/5



music itself wasn't as good but better than much of the dm we get nowadays

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2019


24720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

only on track 2 but already have a good feeling about this. hopefully this year will be on par with last year for dm

Digging: Telethon - Hard Pop

RyanW
February 4th 2019


10 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great ideas and I dig the direction, but dear lord does the drummer need to improve as a musician. The inability to keep consistent time and or inability to execute the attempted style brings the album way down for me. He can improve and I'd love if he did, but I cant ignore the worst part of the album.

AdolfChrist
February 4th 2019


21632 Comments


what the fuck are you talking about? this is an above average drumming performance for this style. inability to keep consistent time? please point out an example for me where he's off time, because i have no idea what youre talking about. and point out an example of where and how he shows an inability to execute the "attempted" style.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 5th 2019


25596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album more with each listen.



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