GRAVE MIASMA - Odori Sepulcrorum (Sepulchral Voice Records - CD 2013)
Grave Miasma… This band has been getting a lot of attention since their formation – or should I say since they’ve changed the name from Goat Molestor into Grave Miasma and released its debut onslaught titled “Exalted Emanation”. I must admit that I had just a brief listen to this EP, as well as to their next release titled “Realm of Evoked Doom”, which I fuckin regret now, but sadly I have never had a chance to get them. Well, life sucks, but you cannot have everything. Luckily once I saw “Odori Sepulcrorum” in a distro I bought myself a copy of it immediately – not a vinyl, sadly, but this digipack CD looks so great that I can have no regrets. Sure, vinyl would be perfect here, but it was quite expensive… And besides, this CD version of “Odori Sepulcrorum” looks and sounds perfectly also. I think that many people will love the graphical side of the album a lot and well, I can only agree. Not only it has this sort of religious, but heretical, profanatical aura, but it just fits the music and its atmosphere perfectly! Great colouring and everything… So, before you start listening to the album you just stare at this digipack and you just know it will be something special… and damn, it truly is.
When I listen to “Odori Sepulcrorum” I feel like I deal with one of the most majestic and monumental death metal records I have ever heard so far. And I really mean that… This album is just soaked with the dark, eerie, occult atmosphere, which has been carefully crafted on “Odori Sepulcrorum” and the entire music almost sounds like if we were listening to a band playing in catacombs, where they truly created freezing and obscure mood. You can almost smell the musty, rotten odour of the tombs... Truly in such albums as “Odori Sepulcrorum” the atmosphere, ability to create it and to keep it perfectly balanced is the most vital and crucial aspect of the entire music, in my opinion, and Grave Miasma did manage to capture that essence perfectly. Sometimes the riffs will almost have a secondary meaning, when you will let that atmosphere catch your throat and devour you… then sometimes you will realize that you don’t even listen to the riffs, but just admire that feeling of the music. You can hear the ghastly howling of Y, which fits the entire music perfectly and everything is right there where it is supposed to be… and with the final effect being not only majestic and obscure, but sometimes almost terrifying, I can say that “Odori Sepulcrorum” is close to perfection.
I mentioned that sometimes I almost don’t listen to the riffs, so ensnared I am by the atmosphere of the music, and I also wrote that I think this is one of the most monumental and epic death metal records, which I have heard. So, to explain myself… Obviously having listened to “Odori Sepulcrorum” over thirty times for the past two weeks I also started to pay more attention to the riffs and they sometimes may not be anything extraordinary or revolutionary and in many ways Grave Miasma walks the same morbid, necropath as bands such as Mitochondrion, Doombringer or Necros Christos do… which is nothing wrong of corpse, especially that once you get to know this album you also realize how many truly awesome and memorable riffs are there and finally how many truly splendid and breathtaking ideas have been incorporated into the songs and their involving structures. This is no bullshit death metal with the necro, almost black metal, occult atmosphere and in this league of bands – some of which I have just mentioned – I can see “Odori Sepulcrorum” being one of the greatest achievements ever. You may think that Acheron, when they’ve been doing their classic albums, was truly special – and certainly such “Lex Talionis” or “Those Who Have Risen” are fantastic, cult records. But now with such albums as “Odori Sepulcrorum” it feels like bands like Grave Miasma have taken this influence of Acheron and some other bands into new dimension, creating new sound and style within classic death metal… and that can only be worshiped by the real fans of this music. And it is also the proof that you can still create something new and unique within the old catacombs of death metal. When I hear such tracks as “Ascension Eye” – which is so fuckin excellent, “έσχατος” with its truly unique riffing and “Seven Coils” with these oriental music influences, I am left speechless. What an awesome job has been done here! And these are just three songs, probably my favourites, but “Odori Sepulcrorum” has seven anthems and each is truly devastating. Maybe when I mentioned the album being monumental and epic, some of you thought it is probably something slower and kind of bombastic… so, let me say that I have such feeling towards “Odori Sepulcrorum”, because this is not just typical death metal record, which is all about sheer brutality, speed and bone crushing. “Odori Sepulcrorum” is often pretty fast, speaking of the tempo, but even in these moments the riffs are kind of specific and the obscure atmosphere together with these riffs and horrifying ghoulish incantations brings me this feeling to epicness.
I usually don’t do things like “Best album of the year” summations, unless I am asked by someone or there’s sort of contest somewhere… But if I was about to make one for 2013 then I am sure that “Odori Sepulcrorum” would be there in my top ten. This spectacular album has really caught my attention and I can only recommend it to you all, although I am quite sure that most of you already know Grave Miasma well and probably also have a copy of the album in collection. Excellent record, indeed.
Standout tracks: “Ascension Eye”, “έσχατος”, “Seven Coils”
Final rate: 95/100