Ossuarium play a sneakily subversive brand of extreme metal that upends familiarity in all of the right ways to make an impressive impact. Just when you think you’ve got the nature of their debut full length Living Tomb nailed down, the band throw a curve ball — to say nothing of the sheer sonic magnitude of the music they present. They’ve really unleashed a monster here, allowing for familiar metal elements to bathe in a new light.
They feel like through all of their music’s aspects, they’ve sought to zero in on the core of their craft. There’s no pretentiousness in sight as they lay down somberly foreboding riff after riff that push the listener only further down their hole. The music maintains a clear foot in technical prowess as the band feel — somehow, through the noise — like they’re truly pulling the strings behind every last note and its reverberations. Rather than this record exploring any sort of triumphant forward driving space, Living Tomb feels like a portal straight to hell — and it’s open, and the flames are jumping out.
Because — comparatively at least — the band dial back some of the mind-bending intensity sometimes employed elsewhere in favor of letting their musical ideas stand out in the open on their own weight, this music seems well poised to really grip the listener. There’s no overabundance of blast beats, and there’s not any overly or sloppily utilized distortion. This music feels pointed squarely downwards, and even more foreboding than some of its extreme metal contemporaries because it’s more difficult to compartmentalize and escape the record’s grip for those really diving in.
Ironically, considering the at times blunt nature of the music itself, defining and boxing off this record as a whole feels difficult. Although the music feels incredibly dark, and there’s no real sense of triumph, there’s still an incredibly pervading sense of power that the music’s force turns into something cerebral and even emotional. That power feels controlled, although only barely, and like a striking statement in response to pressure, although it’s jumped long past any sort of sinister emotional response and dove straight into creating its own brave new world.
Listen below via Bandcamp — the full record releases 2/1 via 20 Buck Spin.