Miasmal: Cursed Redeemer

Rocking death metallers fail to get on a roll

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Since releasing a demo tape in 2007, Gothenburg quartet Miasmal have been a hotly touted cult name amid devotees of the new wave of old-school Swedish death metal.

Eschewing the gnarled and dank atmospheres of that scene, this, the band’s second full-length, has a crisp and slick crystal-clear production courtesy of Studio Fredman, where the likes of Arch Enemy, In Flames and Soilwork got their ear-candy polish. Miasmal contend that the bright sonic punch suits their more ‘rocking’ brand of DM, and it does, but often the limits of the band’s uncomplicated directness are evident in remedially simplistic and forgettable meathead riffs and structures that seem arbitrarily lashed together.

‘Play first, think later’ is the band’s self-proclaimed maxim, so it would be churlish to criticise Miasmal for their unashamedly derivative, meat’n’potatoes approach, and there is joy to be found, especially in the surprisingly elegant leads. But where bands like Death Breath or Morbus Chron revitalise the hackneyed memes of the genre with flair, personality and atmosphere, Miasmal are largely content to maraud around in well-worn circles.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.