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Mephitic Grave – Into The Atrium Of Inhuman Morbidity

Mephitic Grave
Into The Atrium Of Inhuman Morbidity
by Alex Barnard at 01 July 2021, 10:02 PM

MEPHITIC GRAVE is a Death Metal four-piece from Hungary. “Into The Atrium Of Inhuman Morbidity,” is the group’s debut album, released on Carbonized Records on May 7, 2021.

This record is as old school Death Metal as it gets, even down to the lo-fi production. Zoli and Knot’s riffs recall the splendid glory of MORBID ANGEL’s “Altars of Madness,” era; Balázs’s drumming is ferocious, hinting at a combined influence from DARKTHRONE’s Fenriz and Chris Reifert from AUTOPSY; and Ádám’s vocals are about as indistinguishable –yet simultaneously brutal – as Chris Barnes during the early days of CANNIBAL CORPSE.

If only the mix were better. Lo-fi production, in my opinion, has always fit more stylistically with Black Metal than Death Metal. The guitars sound thin and fuzzy, the bass is barely audible, the drums feel lifeless and Ádám sounds like he recorded his vocals into a microphone that was placed in a cave about twenty feet from where he was standing. Now, just reading that sentence alone, you might think to yourself, “But Alex, that describes the mix on some of my favorite albums!” And I couldn’t agree more – that’s literally what “Transylvanian Hunger” sounds like and it’s in my top ten albums of all time. But DARKTHRONE is a Black Metal band. Whereas Death Metal left lo-fi production in the dust after recording technology became better in the 90s, Black Metal stayed true to its dark and ambient roots, creating a vibe unique to its genre. Sure, some more recent Black Metal albums like “Exercises in Futility” by MGŁA have better mixes than the Black Metal albums of yore, but the lo-fi quality remains a central aspect of Black Metal. Not so for Death Metal, and thus, it is truly a shame that this album’s mix is so lacking.

That being said, the songs on this record are damn good. “Chthonicon,” for instance, starts with a blazing fast riff that would make VADER jealous. With various tempo changes and brutal, guttural vocals from Ádám, the song is a rollercoaster to listen to. “The Vaults of Strangling Fear,” similarly has incredibly speedy, tremolo-picked riffs and a constant barrage of blast beats before transitioning into a slow, almost doom-y passage.

“Withering Aeons,” starts off with my favorite riff on the record, brilliantly displaying influences from SLAYER with its evil-sounding, perfect-fourth harmonies and slow introduction that brings us headfirst into the terror that awaits. Finally, “Anatomy of Madness,” with its punishing middle section and dissonant guitar solo, feels like the musical equivalent of being sucked into the vacuum of space.

All in all, “Into The Atrium Of Inhuman Morbidity” is a decent debut album. What I might suggest to MEPHITIC GRAVE for future releases is to lean into the Black Metal influences if the lo-fi production was an intentional choice. After all, DARKTHRONE’s first record was pure Death Metal…just sayin’.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Production: 3
Memorability: 5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Entering The Atrium / The Gatekeeper
2. Chthonicon
3. The Vaults Of Strangling Fear
4. Withering Aeons
5. Straight Into Dead Madness
6. The Other Side Of Midnight
7. Anatomy Of Madness
8. Cosmic Prey
Lineup:
Ádám – Vocals, Bass
Balázs - Drums
Zoli - Guitars
Knot – Guitars
Record Label: Carbonized Records
     


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