Miasmal Album Review – ‘Tides Of Omniscience’
If you haven’t heard anything about or from Miasmal yet their music can be explained quite easily. The Swedes are based in Gothenburg, so naturally they play the local brand of death metal that we have all become so used to through genre greats like At The Gates or Dark Tranquillity just to name a few. With their first two full-length albums Miasmal have proven and established that you can be part of the Gothenburg death metal scene without sounding generic. Their self-titled debut album and the second record ‘Cursed Redeemer’ earned them lots of fantastic reviews and a strong fan base. It also allowed them to tour extensively throughout the US and Europe. Now the Swedes follow-up with their third opus ‘Tides Of Omniscience’.
The drums kick in, followed by rhythmic guitar riffing, laying the groundwork for a brutal death metal album opener. On the one hand ‘Axoim’ is a classic album opener – up-tempo, fast riffing, short and in your face. On the other hand Miasmal do without some usual trademarks of modern death metal that we have heard about a million time like the usual scream at the beginning to kick off the metal attack. This is one of the little details that differentiate Miasmal from a lot of other bands in the genre who just sound too generic.
‘Deception’ gives us more of the higher speed death metal that ‘Axiom’ started with. However, there is also the first acoustic break towards the end of the song. The third track ‘The Pilgrimage’ is darker than the first two. The riffs meander between classic death metal, some black notes and a good dose of a punk feeling. ‘Venomous Heart’ then manages to further increase the intensity before Miasmal gives us the first breather in the form of the slower ‘Perseverance’. The track starts with a longer acoustic intro achieving its heaviness through thick and slow riffs rather than the punch-in-your-face attitude of the first four songs.
So far so good. The first half of ‘Tides Of Omniscience’ convinced with brutality and variety. And to cut a long story short the second half is not an inch less intensive. ‘Key To Eternity’ picks up the aggression after the mid-album breather. Miasmal even manage to finish the album on a high note with my personal favourite ‘Fear The New Flesh’ and the climactic ‘The Shifting Of Stars’.
Miasmal’s third album is a strong one. If it is true that the third album in a band’s career paves the way for future glory or demise then we will hear a lot more from the four Swedes. ‘Tides Of Omniscience’ certainly does not re-define the death metal genre. However, it is an intense and aggressive modern death metal album of a band that created their own distinctive sound. I’ll take that any day. ‘Tides Of Omniscience’ will certainly get a lot more rotation on my playlist.