ALBUM REVIEW: Miasmic Serum – Infected Seed

With the underground death metal scene continuing to grow at an exponential rate, there’s nothing quite like announcing yourself with a full blown conceptual theme in order to stand out from the rest of the herd. 

Formed in 2022, Italian death metal act Miasmic Serum take their fascination with toxic plant life and animal venoms and use it to the fullest on debut album Infected Seed (Night Terrors Records/Chaos Records), even venturing some personal mind-altering psychonautic experiences into the bargain.

Looking to shamanic tribes, ancient Greek religious rituals, the writings of ethnomycologist Gordon Wasson, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, ethnobotanist Terence Mckenna and the dystopian fiction of Aldous Huxley for creative inspiration, the trio are also keen to wear their musical influences on their collective sleeves. Owing much to the Floridian death metal scene of the early ’90s, the Treviso trio worship at the altar of Morbid Angel, Death, Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation, Solstice and Obituary, not to mention possessing a thrashier side not too far away from Sepultura, ahem… territory.

After the brief but unsettling introduction of ‘Auditory Hallucinations’ the album kicks off properly with ‘Near-Death Visions’, a particularly venomous injection of old school death metal complete with groove riffs and plenty of shredding. Vocals are shared between axeman Vanny Piccoli and Colombian bassist Julian Serrato, adding variation to the formula as deep booming barks are emboldened by higher pitched shrieks.

‘Mortal Training’ is a mid-paced neckwrecker featuring a guest appearance from Jason Netherton of Misery Index but it’s drummer Gabriele Marchioni who unquestionably steals the show, the song a veritable feast of fills, blasts and controlled chaos. ‘Immortal Entity’ is a mighty collection of stomping riffs designed with the sole purpose to create absolute carnage in the pit while after the short sampled interlude of ‘Neurotoxic Venom’, Marchioni returns to the fore once again, ‘Lethal Bite’ melting skin with more toxic riffs and a chorus which leans towards actual melody.

Like the reptilian ability to change from a state of lethargy into one of rapid activity in the blink of an eye, ‘Brain Walls’ snaps and strikes at will from an insidious crawl while, as its title suggests, ‘Lost Control’ is a suitably violent burst of aggression pretty much guaranteed to remove faces from skulls. And after one final interval in the shape of ‘Ancient Initiation Rite’, the pernicious title track releases its infectious spores into the atmosphere, the album concluding with a rip-roaring guest appearance from vocalist Fiore Stravino of fellow Italian deathsters Fulci.

A complex, brutal, yet surprisingly accessible debut, Infected Seed is easily one of the most virulent strains of death metal you will encounter this year. The initial exposure might only last around thirty minutes but its effects will be long term.

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8 / 10