Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Grave Miasma: Odori Sepulcrorum (2013)

Magma Varies

It seems compulsory to note that Grave Miasma’s Odori Sepulcrorum is the long-awaited full-length debut of a band whose history stretches back over a decade under original moniker Goat Molestör. And by long-awaited, I don’t mean just that the band took a long time to get their shit together. I mean that people were actually anticipating it. The fact it is seeing a dual release by Sepulchral Voice and none other than Profound Lore is testament to said anticipation.

A reviewer would be tempted to proclaim brilliance based on those facts alone. But such herd mentality must be resisted if reviewers are to serve as anything more than an extension of the PR machine.

The reverb is so thick it’s nearly visible, which is a great way to create atmosphere or to obscure shortcomings, as needed. That level of reverb, coupled with their oft-slow tempos, would generally get them lumped in with Incantation-worshipers, and that categorization is not entirely unfair. But they’re not quite so consistent / easy to pigeonhole as that. They incorporate all manner of old-school death metal riffing, especially the Floridian style, and deploy the occasional Slayer-inspired solo. They distinguish some of their songs through subtle inclusion of weird instrumentation. The riffs are distinct enough that you can tell the songs apart, but they’re not quite so memorable that you’ll hum them to yourself in the shower (closer “Ossuary” is a clear exception).

In the aggregate, Odori Sepulcrorum has me torn. On the one hand, Grave Miasma doesn’t seem to have a coherent vision, and the songs aren’t terribly memorable. But the riffs are good enough, and the sound / atmosphere powerful enough, that it keeps me coming back anyway. I have to split the difference, and say it’s half-brilliant, but not all the pieces are in place just yet.

Have you ever written an extremely long sentence, edited it over a long period of time, and you go back to it no make longer any sense because you forgot to put all the proper places for each piece where it belongs? That’s a little bit how I feel about this. Working over ten years may not be the best way to approach a death metal record, which should be simple.

Maybe in another ten years they can blow me away. For now, I’ll just say I did enjoy it, but the hype left me a bit dissatisfied. Not too much, mind, but just a bit.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Profound Lore
Sepulchral Voice


  1. you have NO clue... none.. you do not know this style as your review clearly demonstrates

  2. Could you be more specific? Is your objection simply to my not liking it as much as you do? You realize this is a positive review, right?