I was hoping a track from Grave Miasma’s forthcoming debut LP, Odori Sepulcrorum, would premiere in time to be included in this month’s Black Market, but it missed by a day. Yeah, it’s a pretty sure bet for August’s roundup, but it would have been appropriate to contrast in that space the moaning, raw analog production found on the Grave Miasma record with the crystalline sound of the new Carcass LP — because those two English bands could not sound less alike, yet they might be responsible, respectively, for the two best death metal albums of 2013. Odori Sepulcrorum is a nightmarish expedition into a bizarre netherworld; it’s dank and cavernous and lightless. Recorded at London’s Orgone Studios (Ghost’s Opus Eponymous; Primordial’s Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand) using vintage equipment, it’s an album of sound more than song — and the skin-crawling sensations produced by that sound — but the performances are roundly outstanding, especially the guitar leads, which channel Morbid Angel’s Trey Azagthoth at his most hallucinatory. Like tourmates Sonne Adam and Necros Christos, Grave Miasma play a form of primitive death metal that feels genuinely dark and threatening, a welcome change from most death metal, which tends to traffic in horror-movie cliches or sci-fi fantasies. Unexpected, perhaps, from a band that used to be called Goat Molestor (fortunately they were able to keep the monogrammed towels even after upgrading their moniker), but truly worthwhile. It’s a weird, disquieting, exciting experience. Listen.
Grave Miasma’s Odori Sepulcrorum is out 9/13 via Profound Lore.