Review: Assaka – The Diabolical Miasma

Introduction

Band: Assaka
Album: The Diabolical Miasma
Genre: Raw Black Metal
Country: Japan(?)
Label: Unsigned

‘The Diabolical Miasma’ a true raw black metal demo, is a real treat for the ears. It starts with an intro, like many demo tapes, that builds a creepy ambience, with a bell ringing out; like the funeral toll.

It leads us perfectly into the first proper song, the title track “The Diabolical Miasma” It begins with a slow beat accompanied by a single guitar playing a distorted melody; almost tipping over the edge into an amateurish black metal sound, but just keeping us on the right side. After the vocals come in for a short while, the riff changes into a more typical black metal riff with blast beats and some almost unnerving vocals; not in the way you’d usually expect. These vocals sound like somebody in pain but still has to muffle their scream, and it fits the music well. The drums break off as a new riff similar to the last plays, a great bridge to the next part. The drums come back, and we are back to the drum patterns from the start, almost feeling like doom metal inspired music at this point.

Second song, “Hellish Abhorrence” is straight to the point, no slow starts here; blast beats and vocals and the whole package is just there at an instant after a shirt count in. Just like the last song, the riff is typical of black metal; no groundbreaking stuff here, just some heavy stuff. Then it goes into a slower bit with an absolutely sick riff with that slow drumming like from the last song, that quickly goes back to the intro riff where it goes back and forth between both riffs. It stays on the slower riff with the drumming getting more kick heavy, before quickly going to the intro to end the song.


The second to last track, “Vomit on Sacred” doesn’t even have a count in this time, just a good riff that lingers at the end a bit to let the vocals come in and keep you on your toes. The song keeps this pattern for the remainder of it. Due to the short length and the repetitive, though still good riff, it feels like a half-baked idea rather than a proper song fit for a demo.

The final song, “Possessed by Death” like earlier in this demo, has a hi-hat count going into this really cool riff, that feels almost like an early Mayhem riff if that makes sense. The vocals come in like the rest of the songs from before, and it lingers on this; same as the rest, but then it changes the riff into these droning power chords, quickly going back to the same as the start, then slowing it down like the first two songs did. And then probably one of the best riffs from this demo comes in, this nice riff with what sounds like a pulse from the guitar which just adds to it. The riff stays around for the perfect amount of time, before going back to the typical riffing and drumming, as the song and the demo as a whole comes to an end.

Conclusion

This demo is a very raw, atmospheric and almost well baked record; with only a few sections that bring it down. The second last song, for example, could’ve been much, much better, but it ends up being a very basic song that hadn’t gotten the attention it deserved. The way the songs linger on their riffs and sections reminds me of other records and the mixing doesn’t really sound like many albums I’ve heard before, making this very much a one of a kind to me; even more because of the different vocals. I don’t know how to feel about the vocals as a whole really, some variation would’ve been brilliant, but the peculiar style they chose for it fits most of the songs; so it never really clashes with the music itself.

BMZ rating: 7,5 / 10

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Thoughts?

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