Everytime I come across another new band playing old school Swedish death metal, I think that okay, this time I won’t score it that high, now it’s time to bash a vapid clone. But after giving Miasmal’s eponymoys debut a few spins, there’s no way I could rate it poorly, even if it isn’t among my favourites when it comes to the 2000s revival of the Swedish phenomenom.
This is mostly due to the production that lacks the asphyxiating, morbid and death reeking atmosphere of, say, the recent Interment debut. The sound is quite huge but also muffled and warm, which is something I wouldn’t prefer to hear on an album of this kind. But what comes to the compositional work here, Miasmal rocks: not with originality (huh!) but with kick ass riffs that are churned with good taste throughout the 38-minute whole that says nothing on the first go, but after a few listens starts to grab better. ”Equinox 432” is probably my favourite of the slew, attacking with great riffage that culminates into a semi-melodic peak towards the end. ”Mists” is another piece worth mentioning here as it briefly introduces some haunting acoustic guitars into the mix.
In addition to the eight track album, there are six tracks more from the band’s back-catalogue on the CD version. I prefer the less careful sound production on these demo and EP songs, though the actual songs aren’t as grabbing as the Miasmal full-length pieces. But, all in all, an old school death metal fan won’t lose anything if he/she invests into Miasmal that not only offers a full-length of good stuff, but also a shitload of solid extra material. As with all the other albums in this field, it’s hard to be create a true masterpiece, but Miasmal surely does its job admirably, nonetheless.