Mountains of Dead

Hailing from Kansas City, MO, Marasmus are a no-bullshit US styled death metal act that cull heavily from the Floridian side of things (most notably Cannibal Corpse and Hateplow) with just a touch of Unique Leader, singularly paced brutality. The end result is a competent, if unspectacular, slab of American death metal.

This is one of those reviews where I could probably end it right there, but out of respect to Clawhammer PR and the band, I should probably delve a little deeper, though it might take some real effort.  The album clocks in at around 25 minutes and the 10 tracks (8 actual songs) are short, sharp stabs of pure death metal and tend to blend together into a single vortex of savagery. Devon Ferrara has a powerful, typical but not too guttural bellow, and the production is clean yet burly, all fitting into the genre’s typical hues.

After a carrion infested intro “Among the Deceased”, which you can almost smell, the band kick into “Modes of Vitriol” and that’s pretty much the tempo for the rest of the album. A couple of slower grooves and even a solo or too break up the blasting, but otherwise, Mountains of Dead is a sonic jackhammer from start to finish. Mind you, it’s not a mindless, hyper blast fest. There’s that Floridan sense of control to tracks like “Gnostic Decimation”, “Casket Made of Ivory” and “Shut the the Fuck up and Die” ( a death metal singalong anthem if ever there was one) and the mammoth title track, which also have those aforementioned solos and tempo shifts to give the album just enough sense of change to keep it from being boring. And the songs’ brevity helps also.

Mountains of Dead isn’t going to change death metal or end up on any year-end lists. Still, it’s nice to see death metal this solid come out of Missouri, even if they make no bones about their sound or influences.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 28th, 2012


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