PICK OF THE WEEK: Grave Miasma’s warped death devastates minds with ‘Abyss of Wrathful Deities’

There’s a lot of music out there designed to make you feel good inside, cause you to dance, put a smile on your face so you can tolerate the chaos of this world. Then there’s the opposite, music that darkens your soul, pushes you into nightmare terrain, and rots your insides, making a trip into hell something you might be able to tolerate.

UK death mashers Grave Miasma never will be mistaken as one here to elevate your mood, unless the darkest, strangest stretches of death metal warm your heart. They have returned after a long layoff from their debut record with their sophomore crusher “Abyss of Wrathful Deities,” a beast about to makes its way across the globe, proverbially blotting out the sun and threatening existence as we know it. OK, yeah, that’s obviously over the top, but when you take on the music supplied by this band—multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Y, guitarist/bassist T, drummer/percussionist D—it doesn’t seem all that exaggerated. These nine songs that bleed over 53 minutes are nightmarish, strange to navigate, and impossible to properly classify, which makes what’s going on that much more intense.  

“Guardians of Death” greets you with guitars welling up and crazed growls as the playing smashes your mind. The vocals scrape and the guitars go off, multiplying the anguished hell in which you’re immersed. The vocals keep agitating, the pace pummels, and everything ends in spacious hell. “Rogyapa” unloads bursting guitars and snarling vocals, while the pace is punchy and even a little deranged. The playing catches fire as the growls tear away at your flesh, and everything stomps as your head is left spinning. The guitars wail, the eeriness settles into your nervous system, and the playing finally relents toward the end, still rubbing your face in it. “Ancestral Waters” splatters as the growls mar, and the leads engulf and tangle you in power. Massive growls and shrieks unite and aggravate healing wounds, the guitars flood and swim, and everything ends in pure menace. “Erudite Decomposition” enters with crushing drums and a haunting, heavy vibe that refuses to quit. The growls sound like they originate from hell as the guitar playing is both smoking and airy, the leads rush, and the combination of relentless speed and strange atmosphere finally fold out.

“Under the Megalith” starts as a dizzying assault with the vocals wrenching and the playing penetrating, sending you on the run. The pace keeps gaining strength as the riffs fold, and the darkness thickens and enters your blood. The storm gets gnarlier as the playing explodes and spirals, and furious hell pushes into a violent end. “Demons of the Sand” slowly enters the picture as the growls collect, and the guitar scorches your flesh. Harsh growls only increase the bruising as the music drills its way into the earth, sending rock high into the clouds, choking out everyone within their reach. “Interlude” gives you a quick breather as its acoustics feel rustic and raw, letting the temperature come down a bit before leaning into “Exhumation Rites.” That track rips open with a driving gust and growls that crush, making you a paste stain on the ground. The playing chugs and mixes your brain chemicals, and great soloing emerges to open the lava flow. The drums unload as everything is engulfed in hell, pounding growls smear salt in the wounds, and everything comes to a jarring end. “Kingdoms Beyond Kailash” ends the album with yelled screams and a heavy dose of humidity that thickens the air. The playing hangs overhead as the hypnosis gets more involved, strange strings haunt, and the playing numbs your muscles as the song ends in an acoustic wash.

Eight years was a long wait from their full-length debut, but Grave Miasma reward our patience with “Abyss of Wrathful Deities,” one of the strangest, most destructive death metal albums we’ve encountered so far this year. This feels like it emanates from deep underground, as the forces of death rise and swallow you into hellish caverns. This is a mangling, psychologically warped record that is exciting, morbid, and as suffocatingly dark as you can find.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/gravemiasma

To buy the album, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/store/

Or here: http://www.sepulchralvoice.de/shop/

For more on the label, go here: https://www.darkdescentrecords.com/

And here: http://www.sepulchralvoice.de/