The last few years there have been rumblings in the depths of the death metal underground. Discontent with the dominance of cleanly produced “technical” or “brutal” bands that infest the scene a new wave of bands have begun to look to the past for inspiration. Leading this charge is GRAVE MIASMA who have been kicking around for over a decade under various names. Widely regarded as a leading band in the downright filthy, reverb-drenched “cavernous death metal” sound, does the bands new EP Endless Pilgrimage hold up to the impressive standard their back catalogue has set?
Beginning with Indian sounding chimes Yama Transforms To The Afterlife starts the record off. It soon descends into the crushingly heavy riffs and deep throaty growls that characterise the style of death metal the band plays. Halfway through the track the chimes reappear over the top of the riff to great effect. Another quiet introduction heralds the arrival of Utterance Of The Foulest Spirit which opens with a slow paced pounder of a riff, which periodically repeats throughout the track. Both of the tracks are longer than your average death metal song and allow the band to demonstrate their craft well.
Purgative Circumvolution is positively short by comparison to GRAVE MIASMA’s normal fair, at under five minutes. Despite this the pace of the track stays at the same grinding pace, with entropy rather than pure intensity delivering the desired results. The track does feature one of the few noticeable guitar solos for a short burst in the middle of the song. Glorification Of The Impure blasts straight in without any of the slow build previously seen. A re-recording of an old demo track it is slightly different to the remainder of the EP, but the quality does not dip nor the song sound out of place here. Aggressive doesn’t even cover it. Full Moon Dawn is the final and longest track on the EP and begins with the same quiet introduction as the first two. The tracks length allows the band to incorporate the elements featured across this EP and their full-length all together to great effect. The end result is a track which leaves you feeling like you’ve been beaten to the floor.
Crushing is the word that comes to mind when trying to describe how Endless Pilgrimage sounds. GRAVE MIASMA’s refusal to release the listener from its constant intensity will please fans of the old school death metal sound, these guys are certainly a band to be keeping a very close eye on. This release is not nice, it’s not pretty and it sure as hell isn’t clean and that’s just how it should be. Death Metal done right.
Endless Pilgrimage is set for release on May 6th via Sepulchral Voice Records.
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