Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Miasmes - Répugnance (2023)

Although I have no experience with the band's prior EP from last year, I can say without hesitation that Répugnance is, as its title implies, an all out black metal assault with no fucks given. The very look of the album seems almost ambiguous as per genre, it could resemble anything from a grind or death metal, crossover or even an Assück record, but it does actually do justice to the music content itself, which is ripping, raw, and unforgiving violence. One can infer that Miasmes had a (leather-)vested interested in stripping back the genre to its most violent and primitive roots and then building a sound up from there, so it does bear very little resemblance to the more dissonant, atmospheric or Medieval strains of black metal that generally hail from their national scene.

That is NOT to say the music here is dumb in any way, in fact it's fairly well structured with solid riffing patterns, brutal drumming and most importantly, the blazing leads like in the title track "Délivrance" which add a much needed higher, wilder dimension to the ruthlessness. I would trace the lineage here back to savage, belligerent records from bands like Bathory or Marduk, or perhaps Gorgoroth's Destroyer, but it's also a very well balanced record rhythmically, there is little of the endless blasting patterns, they are instead interspersed with cutting middle-paced rhythms that allow the listener to feel the surge once those higher tempos break out. They also do a lot of great stop/start riffing framework which carries a bit of a blackened thrash feel and makes everything that much more exciting and fueled up. The vocals aren't exactly unique, but they've got a nihilistic, raucous thick rasp that splatters itself right up against the bombardment of instruments so that they can be properly noticed.

I can't say that the riffing selections are all that unique, but they certainly through enough of them at you and they almost all serve the songs, you'll clearly hear an old Germanic thrash influence circa Sodom or Kreator of the mid 80s, only clad in the more muscular rhythm section and black metal intensity. The bass lines are good and thick and clobber you alongside the kick drums and rhythm guitars, and there are a number of opportunities where they plod along solo and it's another great technique to keep the feel of the material brash and potent. This is a fun, ugly, barbaric and competent full-length debut, and another gem for the Les Acteurs de l'Ombre imprint which doesn't necessarily emulate any of its other acts.

Verdict: Win [8/10]

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