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Grave Miasma - Endless Pilgrimage LP (Black vinyl)

€15.90

In just under ten years of releasing 3 EPs and one full-length, Grave Miasma have proven themselves to be one of the best death metal bands of this decade. Odori Sepulcrorum was an amazing album that went beyond ritualistic caverncore to make a thundering storm of riffs. Endless Pilgrimage strays from the cavernous sound even further. The fantastic artwork for this EP portrays this album's atmosphere: a storm blown journey to the grave. The band has adopted an occult Hindu theme for this album's lyrics this time around so the occult vibe is still there, but very different.

Grave Miasma have always been relentlessly heavy with their riff work, and in this tradition the guitars on Endless Pilgrimage are thick as a giant fucking tombstone. They're complimented by some occasional haunting cleaner guitar work featured on "Utterance of the Foulest Spirit" and some sitar on "Yama Transforms to the Afterlife" to drive home the feel of making sacrifices to Shiva or Yama or Kali or whatever. But the other big contributor to the atmosphere of this album is the vocals. The frontman's growls are echoy and yet remain clear and understandable enough to have a commanding weight behind them as if he's the high priest in this sacrificial rite. Moments like him going "I SHALL BECOME!" in "Purgative Circumvolution" send shivers down my spine, and him shouting "To the crescent moon of Shiva I crawl" at the end of the same song is equally as powerful.

There's only five songs, but running at 33 minutes thanks to a few lengthy tracks means you're getting a lot of bang for your buck for a release categorized as an EP. Grave Miasma clearly know how to execute their ideas, and Endless Pilgrimage not only is a fine addition to their discography but also one of the best death metal releases of 2016.