Published Jan 30, 2019The debut full-length from Portland, OR underground up-and-comers Ossuarium, is an example in how the little things can have great effect on the overall outcome, either propelling something further into the stratosphere or weighing it down from its true potential. Unfortunately, the latter seems to be the case in Living Tomb.
Solid grooves abound throughout Living Tomb, matched only by stretches of brooding atmosphere and despair. Ossuarium exercise a strong death-doom sensibility, as they confidently ebb and flow from chugging riffs into dismal chasms of slow horror. Emulating genre heavyweights like Spectral Voice in their cosmic sensibility, the influence of black metal creeps into the style of some of the more atmospheric guitar playing, such as on the opening of "Vomiting Black Death," which undeniably evokes Mayhem's iconic "Freezing Moon."
However, despite all the band do right, it makes it all the more frustrating that the production doesn't always hold up under the band's heavy tread. The primary issue is the drum sound, which suffers from "clicky bass syndrome" and proves detrimental to sections in "Blaze of Bodies" or "Corrosive Hallucinations," in which the drummer's unorthodox blasting style sounds awkward, to say the least, and overall lessens the gut punch of Living Tomb.
Even through the drawbacks, Ossuarium's promise seeps through, and the band deliver a hefty offering of meaty tracks, dripping with mood and brutality in equal measure. (20 Buck Spin)