Tuesday 12 March 2019

Musmahhu - Reign Of The Odious

Labels: Iron Bonehead Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 18 Jan 2019


1. Apocalyptic Brigade Of Forbidden Realms
2. Musmahhu, Rise
3. Slaughter Of The Seraphim
4. Burning Winds Of Purgatory
5. Reign of The Odious
6. Spectral Congregation Of Anguish
7. Thirsting For Life's Terminus

Swedish death metal duo Musmahhu uttered their first inhuman cries in 2018 with the release of their debut EP "Formulas Of Rotten Death". It was released via Iron Bonehead Productions, who have now also helped to release the band's debut full-length "Reign Of The Odious". Musmahhu is indeed a mysterious entity; however, both of its members share both experience and bands, as well as links to Ancient Records.

With the wind whipping up once again outside, this feels like an apt soundtrack. Musmahhu presents an otherworldly persona and it’s immediately clear that the music is king as opener Apocalyptic Brigade Of Forbidden Realms begins. The drums are totally pummelling, while the guitar work is both frenetic and impressive. The vocals sit in the middle of it all and provide the level of hellish gloom that you’d expect. Following that opening onslaught, their call-to-arms of Musmahhu, Rise is ushered in with a solemn atmosphere before the battery takes hold once again. There’s more tempo changes present here, as Musmahhu flits between fast and sludge-like passages that are filled with subtle melody that has more of an impact than you might think. So far, this is very impressive. 

There’s no death metal I’ve heard in recent years that I could compare to this, and that isn’t a hollow statement either. I’ve been racking my brain and while there are plenty of old-school flourishes and smatterings of black metal present on Slaughter Of The Seraphim, it’s much better to enjoy this release as if it were completely in it’s own genre. The lengthy compositions thus far are compelling to say the least. At the mid-point of the album, there’s a short but equally torturous piece called Burning Winds Of Purgatory, which takes you deeper into the crazed minds of those behind the band. It’s does break things up a little while still allowing the record to sound uncomfortable (in a good way). There’s also some modern metal touches within it too, though these are buried amongst the death and only peer through the soil into the light.

The title-track brings things crashing down around you once again with no moment of rest. It’s this intensity level that makes “Reign Of The Odious” such a great listen. Yes it’s extreme in every sense, but sometimes that extremity is cleansing. If you’ve run out of records that force you to sit and take notice of their entirety then this is definitely for you. Penultimate beast Spectral Congregation Of Anguish is probably the most full-throttle song here with it’s utterly inhumane blasts and kick-drum frenzies. The haunting guitar/keyboard melody adds a further layer of density while the ghoulish deep-bellows and high-pitched shrieks bury themselves deep. Technical, challenging but also moving. 

It’s left to closer Thirsting For Life’s Terminus to provide some old-school Swe-death worship, with a mid-paced song full of riffs and true darkness. Yes there’s still a lot of percussive speed here but it retains the sort of presence that was honed by their Scandinavian forefathers. It rounds out an album that will leave your jaw agape and your saw neck wanting more. Fantastic stuff!

You can stream and buy "Reign Of The Odious" on all formats via Iron Bonehead Productions below:-

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