Bands: Gruesome, Grave Miasma
Albums: Dimensions of Horror, Endless Pilgrimage
Genres: Death Metal, Black/Death Metal
Labels: Relapse Records, Sepulchral Voice Records
This time I’m introducing a new round-up segment. Gonna be separating out the pure EP round-ups from my demo ones so that demos get a fair go. For the first EP round-up its a double offering of death with the new Gruesome and Grave Miasma EP’s.
Gruesome – Dimensions of Horror (Relapse Records)
A common consensus that I saw with Gruesome’s début slab of Death worship from last year was that it was good, but a bit bloated, and particularly with me I found that Savage Land melded together just a tad too much to move from being good to amazing death metal. However, Dimensions of Horror not only sees a quality boost in overall song writing, but the distilled nature of the EP gives the material a stronger sense of focus.
Each of the 6 tracks here digs right into the Scream Bloody Gore/Leprosy era Death mentality of savage but catchy instrument and vocal delivery. Every track has its own ear-worming refrains and riffs, much like throughout the first two Death releases. Forces of Death opens the EP up with a doomy riff before dropping into that classic speedy riff delivery. While Matt Harvey’s vocals don’t have the same razor edge to them as Chuck’s vocals did, he retains the savagery of them, giving a unique flavour to the tribute. The drum work on display keeps a high brutality level with simplicity, much like Reifert’s drumwork on SBG and the bass sounds appropriately disgusting but punchy underneath the sharp riffwork.
The title track features a lead intro not too dissimilar in nature to the one opening Evil Dead on SBG, while Amputation’s refrain brings to mind Mutilation’s refrain with its cadence and repetition.
At just under 20 minutes this EP is absolute quality Death worship and if Gruesome can keep this level of quality up, they’ll be an excellent band to fill the dearth of early Death sounding death metal.
Grave Miasma – Endless Pilgrimage (Sepulchral Voice Records)
Endless Pilgrimage was definitely an anticipated release from these UK caverndeath overlords, particularly following the news of the two members leaving Cruciamentum to focus on Grave Miasma more purely. Endless Pilgrimage is a definite satisfier.
Yama Transforms to the Afterlife, with its sitar introduction, barrels any negative views of this EP away when it kicks into an absolutely pummelling barrage of guitars, bass and drums with unearthly, low growls polluting over the top.
The entire EP maintains this pummelling and choking atmosphere, only giving the listener pause during song introductions. Utterance of the Foulest Spirit feels like an apt title with the reeking vocal delivery sounding akin to a foul spirit spewing ghastly incantations. The general pacing throughout this album is middling, with pace changes coming in the form of speeding blasts, like the openings of the third and fourth tracks, Purgative Circumvolution and Glorification of the Impure.
The final, and longest track, Full Moon Dawn, contains the more unsettling introduction, utilising swirling riffs and a more primitive drum pattern along with a more monolithic pacing and throat shredding vocals to create an eerie atmosphere that persists throughout the remainder of the 8 minute track.
The 5 tracks over 33 minutes is an unrelenting but rewarding listen, showing Grave Miasma still at their peak in ability to produce top quality consuming, cavernous death metal. An absolutely recommended caverndeath experience.