1. A noxious atmosphere or influence: “The family affection, the family expectations, seemed to permeate the atmosphere . . . like a coiling miasma”

2. a. A poisonous atmosphere formerly thought to rise from swamps and putrid matter and cause disease.

b. A thick vaporous atmosphere or emanation

Fucking perfect…

Considering Dark Descent’s obsession with old school Swedish death metal reissues, one might assume that the debut from Sweden’s Miasmal would indeed be a retro Swedish death metal release from a band simply mimicking their Stockholm peers (which would be fine to me).  While there are certainly plenty of nods to the classics, notably pre-Entombed Nihilist, Miasmal’s sound is actually much more rooted in a stateside sound; the putrid, rotten stench of Autopsy.

An influence coincidentally cemented  by Autopsy’s new record , Macabre Eternal, the 14 tracks on Miasmal (eight new ones, two tracks from their 2010 EP and their four 2008 demo tracks) are a filthy, rotten oozing platter of death metal full of galloping d-beat riffs, haunting crawling solos and sickly hacking grooves. The guitar tone is a perfect mix of down-tuned mid range buzz, earthy rumbles and sickly feedback, and while the lyrical themes aren’t quite as semi humorous, shit and whore obsessed as Autopsy, the overall tone is still one of dank foul atmospheres befitting the bands moniker.

Look no further than opener “Mesmerized”, especially the bass line and subsequent crawl about 3;30 or how about the rollicking opening trot of “Blissful Cannonades”? Heck the opening creepy acoustic serenade of “Mists” and its cantankerous solo is only missing Chris Reifert’s decrepit hack to top it off. And those looking for a more inherent, direct Swedish hues should look to the blasting “Equinox 432” or or punchy “We Will live Forever” or moody “Death Mask” to satiate their desires for a more classic Stockholm influence. Though the whole album has plenty of moments that reek of both, notably riotous Closer “Chronicles”, with a suitably 90s epic keyboard outro giving a nod to “Left hand Path” and other classic tracks of the era.

As mentioned above this release contains eight brand new songs as well as six previous songs culling from the 2008 cassette demo and a 2010 EP. Thankfully the album doesn’t redo any of these tracks, so it’s six completely different songs from the CD. As expected they sound a bit different with the EP tracks “Creation of Fire and “Bionic Godhead Erase” actually having a clearer cleaner production than the CD with a less murky muddy bass. But they are both excellent track still having the same Autopsy meets Nihilist sound. The four demo tracks sound great also, though rougher and gnarlier than all the other material, and maybe actually having a little more Stockholm buzz and influence as I hear some Unleashed in these tracks (i.e. “Abduction of the Soul”). Though “Kallocain Miasmal” could have come from Severed Savior.

Another great package from Dark Descent: 14 tracks and over an hour of great music that shows the label has a couple of their own excellent new bands in Ilsa and Miasmal — as well as their awesome reissues.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 18th, 2011


  1. Commented by: Biff_Tannen


    They are playing this friday here in Chicago at a house party apparently , but it’s the wife’s birthday and I don’t think I can talk her into it… ugh !

  2. Commented by: Apollyon

    Tell her it’s ‘a surprise’.

  3. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    Good idea ! …too bad I already spilled the beans a couple weeks ago. She’ll be on to me : /

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