The Eternal Suffering - _Miasma_
(I for an I Records, 2010)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (6.5 out of 10)
Since I'm not an expert on all things black metal, I can't really place this chunk of Greco-deathy blackness in the grand scheme of things. But perhaps this is a welcome change from the usual black metal expert who stares at the poster of Immortal's _Pure Holocaust_ he has in his room for twenty minutes for inspiration before even going to the bathroom. On more than a few occasions, I have assumed the role of the thrash metal elitist who makes fun of black metal by referencing the over-referenced list of "Top 10 most ridiculous black metal pictures", but here things will go a little differently. This will go in favor of Piraeus' The Eternal Suffering and their second album _Miasma_.

The Eternal Suffering is a group of black metal enthusiasts with a rather crafty inclination towards death metal. Naming names that are obvious influences is not easy and won't really prove much. The death metal influences are quite prominent in their riffing arrangements and drumming patterns though. Standard black metal drumming, which is mostly blasting and double bass beats, is used extensively, but it's coupled with some clever chops. The band's level of technicality and quality of production are akin to those of Emperor's _Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk_ at some points. I could be subconsciously crediting their death metal influences for this astute level of musicianship, but that doesn't mean that all black metal bands lack a similar collective skill.

Tracks like "Assail the Creation" or "Nocturnal Delight" are prime examples of the mix of black and death metal. I do feel a nagging need though to point out that the aforementioned mix is not a 50-50 mix; the ratios are similar to those you would use to make a Jack and Coke. The use of trebly tremolo riffs is not exclusive, the drumming provides more variety to the standard blast-and-roll pattern and Ypsailon isn't shy in trying his hand with some guitar soloing. "In Silence They March", however, could very well be my favorite track of the ten comprising this _Miasma_. Maybe this album could have done away with the Dark Fortress "Iconoclasm Omega" cover, and some extra tweaking with the production could have helped get a seven or more, but this certainly isn't a disappointing listen by any means.


(article published 26/10/2010)

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