Miasmal – Tides of Omniscience (Century Media)

Genre: Death Metal

Miasmal’s sophomore effort, Cursed Redeemer, was a barrage of crusty riffs, death metal grit and hardcore aggression, and saw the band hurtle out of the Gothenburg underground and gain global recognition. Tides of Omniscience, its follow-up, is a curious affair in the sense that the fetid, raw sound of Cursed Redeemer has given way to a more refined, sleeker style. Listen to opener Axiom, for instance, and the death/thrash of The Haunted springs immediately to mind, and there’s a danger that after such a promising early career, Miasmal could be coming another by-numbers Swedish DM outfit.

Yet there are enough rough diamonds shining out from this opus to make you keep faith in Miasmal: The Pilgrimage, for instance, harnesses the energy of early death metal, puts it through a d-beat blender and injects a touch of melody to create a real riot starter of a tune, while The Shifting of Stars is a devastating closer, boasting catchy, barbed wire riffs and a crushing groove reminiscent of classic Entombed.

So while the quartet may have toned things down (a little), there’s still plenty of sustenance here for out and out death metalheads… and some fine songcraft on show too.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Incoming Tide