Grave Miasma – Abyss of Wrathful Deities (Dark Descent/Sepulchral Voice)

Thursday, 13th May 2021
Rating: 8/10

As one of the bigger underground names when it comes to more subterranean, dungeon-crawling death metal in the last decade, Grave Miasma have also upheld a position as one of the stronger acts in the field. Generating moody and dark landscapes with an air of eeriness to them, with tremolo leads to grab your attention, Abyss of Wrathful Deities takes things a few steps further without losing the foundations that Grave Miasma have laid down previously.

While there’s a mystique surrounding the band’s sound as normal, it also feels more direct and immediate in some ways. Some of the cloudiness has lifted, so to speak, and it’s largely due to two tweaks to the sound. For one, the drumming is a bit more standout than previous releases, and it gives the music a harder edge. This combines with some more aggressive riffing at times. The atmospheric and moody riffs, not to mention the otherworldly leads still retain their place (see “Under the Megalith”), but some tracks like “Rogyapa” generate large sums of momentum with explosive sections of bludgeoning riffs and drumwork. Together, it helps to enhance the formula that the band has maintained. Giving it a slightly more accessible feel while still dousing it with utter darkness. It’s the songwriting chops that shine brightest in the end, and the band finds a way to keep this cavernous sound enriched and varied over the course of a rather lengthy runtime (for death metal anyways).

Fans of Grave Miasma’s lurching and menacing sound will no doubt still be drawn very much towards Abyss of Wrathful Deities. But it should also give them a bit of a boost from those who tend to avoid the Incantation-esque crawlers that are piling up below the shutter boards due to the excellent augmentation of their sound. Solid material for those who want some grimy death metal that still retains some memorability to it.

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