In an age where there are numerous amazing death metal releases, Grave Miasma have unleashed their monumental new LP Abyss of Wrathful Deities…..and it will shatter many psyches and disturb many priests! The fearsome cover art features a malevolent creature whose gaze can hypnotize even the most jaded death metal fan. Abyss of Wrathful Deities is a 50-minute abstract and doom-laden death metal opus that’s a worthy continuation of the stellar work of Grave Miasma’s last EP, Pilgrimage, (released in 2017 on Profound Lore) but not quite as spectacular as their first LP, Odori Sepulcrorum, unleashed in 2013, also on Profound Lore.
Reviewing this new Grave Miasma opus (they’re now on Dark Descent in the US and Sepulchral Voice Records in Europe) is a bit like taking a trek down a river in Hell while negotiating intricately violent waterways that are thick with twists and turns while keeping your awareness on a landscape that’s fraught with images of death and destruction. Suffice to say that it’s no easy task but the journey into Abyss of Wrathful Deities’ bleak underworld is worth the price of admission.
For over 20 years Grave Miasma have honed their complicated and caustic sound way before the trend of abstract and “cavernous” death metal started a few years ago. A starting point for grasping Grave Miasma’s oeuvre is the non-linear and grimy death metal approach of the mighty US death metal stalwarts Incantation. Throw in some of Gorguts’ complex riff ideas and an obsession with Eastern spirituality and you have some idea what you’re getting into. Similar to abstract death metal contemporaries like Greece’s masters Dead Congregation, GM are singular in their approach and have blazed their own caustic trail of cavernous and complicated death metal.
For the most part, Abyss of Wrathful Deities is a tremendous LP but it’s not without its issues. Sometimes Grave Miasma meander off course and they have an overabundance of riffs. Maybe it’s the psychedelics that the band have said that they’ve used but at times they seem to lose focus as on songs like “Exhumation Rites”. Additionally, some of the songs are also too long and shorter and more concise album more along the lines of Odori Sepulcrorum might have benefitted the band.
Minor gripes aside, Abyss of Wrathful Deities is an outstanding release for a fucked-up world and one that will take you on a grim and brutal journey that you’ll never forget. Having a band that revels in the excess of atmospheric brutality is what many of us need these days. Grave Miasma are truly a singular entity and they are leaders of the abstract death metal scene. 7/10
Abyss of Wrathful Deities was released on May 14th, 2021 via Sepulchral Voice Records (EU) & Dark Descent Records (USA).