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Mephitic Grave > Into the Atrium of Inhuman Morbidity > Reviews
Mephitic Grave - Into the Atrium of Inhuman Morbidity

The Vaults of Strangling Fear - 80%

Nattskog7, June 7th, 2022
Written based on this version: 2021, Cassette, Carbonized Records (Limited edition, 2 colors)

The debut album of otherworldly Hungarian death metal mystics Mephitic Grave was set for release on May 7th 2021 via Carbonized Records, My Dark Desires Records and Nihil Productions.

Samples of storms begin the album alongside creepy clips of creaking doors and a distant inhuman chattering, hopefully this is indicative of the horrors that lie in wait. Doomy guitars and incantation-like vocals drive forth that typically odd Eastern Bloc eeriness and feeling of obscurity. The riffs have a tastefully old feeling reminiscent of bands like Necrovore while the backbeat of the drums is solid and primal, a perfect backdrop to the roaring grit of the vocals. The swirling murk of the rhythm sections occasionally gives way for some spooky lead work while staying in the general filthily drudging atmosphere that is upheld throughout the recording, a well suited approach to the Lovecraftian thematic of the band. Clearly borrowing some ideas from the Finnish old school such as Funebre and Abhorrence but with that inimitable Eastern European flare that adds further haunting malice to the music. The brutish and yet morose ambience and execution certainly feel original yet with elements familiar from the best moments of death metal’s history. A match that will satisfy many seeking obscure gems.

Onto the mix of the record, it is thunderous in terms of the buzzing guitars and monstrous vocals, with the pounding of drums sat in the back of the mix. There is definitely a raw charm to the production that feels very old indeed, while perhaps it may seem timid in certain parts, there is nothing but old school grit to be found in the approach of delivering this album. The slower tempo tremolo-picking and punchy drum work feels convulsive and contorted which assists the mind-fraying sense of dread that is conjured extremely well, while the doomy elements always lurk behind any ferocity with an apparent need to uphold the wondrously spectral atmospherics. This maddening, cosmic and volatile opus is truly something special and mysterious, which conceals a gem of the underground for the few whom will dare explore these forbidden and gloomy realms alongside Mephitic Grave.

A booming slab of Lovecraftian death metal with all of the unusual charms that were so present in the late 80s, harkening back to a time of experimentation and discovery while not feeling progressive or remotely modern. This is perhaps the sort of death metal that would be lost on many whom do not dig below the surface, but the ones who seek something a bit more uneasy will be ecstatic to hear such music still being made to brilliantly.

Written for

more like inhuman mediocrity lolololol - 35%

RapeTheDead, June 18th, 2021

We’ve finally come full circle. It’s been about a decade that we’ve been going through “OSDM revival” now, which is a sufficient amount of time to start having generic third and fourth stringers pop up, circulate, and even attain a small amount of success. Ever listen to a new band, think “well that sure was extremely ok” and then never think about listening to them ever again? You probably don’t even remember if that’s happened because that’s how insignificant the experience would be. Anyhow, that’s Into the Atrium of Inhuman Morbidity for you.

The surface sound is fine, Mephitic Grave clearly likes old death metal and emulates its essential qualities - diminished chromatic scale patterns, lots of grooving on the bottom string, you know the drill. Even the production is on the thin side, as if we couldn’t already tell this band really likes the early 90s. The problem is that instead of taking these ideas and sculpting them through their own lens, Mephitic Grave is content to just present those ideas as they are. Instead of ripping off the idiosyncrasies of the classics (which would have at least been moderately more intriguing), they took the building blocks from “me too” bands like Acheron and Killing Addiction and reimagined them without any extra color, adding slower riffs in for “atmosphere” (i.e. when they couldn’t think of a better transition and got lazy).

It is honestly stunning how little of this album I remember. Even as I listen to it while writing this review I’m trying to note specific sections of this album that work a little bit better or worse, just to try and underscore the effect Into the Atrium of Inhuman Morbidity has, and it’s near impossible because every section sounds exactly the fucking same. There are no peaks or valleys in these songs, even though each of them have many drastic shifts in tempo and theme, because they haven’t been written in a way that gives the riffs any sort of push-and-pull with one another. They cycle through a few different ominous themes, slow down when their drummer gets tired, and then stew in a few other ideas that only seem related because they rip off similar bands form the 90s. When a song ends, it offers no closure - though not in a cliffhanger way that makes you want to hear what’s next. It’s more of a relief that it’s done, because you were never invested in where the song was going to begin with.

There are lots of other little things that irk me about Into the Atrium of Inhuman Morbidity - the growls are all vocal fry and have no breath, the drums are muffled which makes it hard to get in the pocket, the bass had the potential and space in the mix for a super thick tone but instead is just as thin as the guitars - but I’d only go in depth about those if there were fewer things to nitpick about this record to begin with. I don’t want to continue to dogpile on an unknown band that’s just trying their best to make a name for themselves, but Mephitic Grave is gonna have to put in waaaay more effort (not to mention fresh ideas) to make themselves stand out in an OSDM scene that is getting more crowded by the minute.