By on 28 April 2011


Ok, I’ve picked two Swedish bands in a row, and the simple reason for that is that there is just so much great music of all different styles pouring out of that country’s extreme music scene that is making a big impression on me! This week’s pick, Miasmal, deal in a completely different style of extreme and heavy music compared to last week. Miasmal are going back to the roots of death metal with their brand of Svensk DödsMetall, but there is also clear crust punk/d-beat influences that rear their ugly heada in places – but that isn’t surprising when you know that this band features a member of Swedish blackened käng crustlords, Martyrdöd! Miasmal sit perfectly alongside such bands as Tormented, Bastard Priest and Bombs Of Hades,so if you are familiar with those bands then you know what to expect from Miasmal.

I first became aware of this band’s existence when Pontus, their guitarist/vocalist, posted a thread up about them on a punk forum a couple of years ago, prompting people to check out his newly-formed death metal band,  so I was immediately curious and checked out their tracks, and was very impressed with their old school sound and approach. I got hold of the demo via a friend a little while later and played the hell out of it, along with the Bastard Priest demo I had gotten on the same CD!

The band’s debut full-length was recently unleashed by Dark Descent on CD in the States, and on vinyl by Detest (Belgium) and Me Saco Un Ojo (UK) in a joint collaboration. The debut is an eight-track affair, with the 2010 EP and 2008 demo material tagged on, so what you are getting is not just eight new songs, but the entire Miasmal recorded discography in one entire package! Also, the album comes packaged in excellent artowrk courtesy of Viral Graphics, which is a great and fitting preview to the evil atmosphere contained within.

This album musically harks back to the days when early Entombed were at their peak and releasing such classics as ‘Left Hand Path’; full of evil atmosphere and raw, dirty aggression – just the way death metal was meant to sound! In this modern age of bands focusing too much on virtuosity and technicality, and forsaking writing actual songs and riffs, it is always ,refreshing to hear a modern band that is doing things the old school way – no glossy, polished, pretentious noodling or showing off how technical they can play! All Miasmal care about is playing heads-down, straight-up DEATH FUCKING METAL, with killer riffs and songs in abundance! I am not going to even attempt to pick out any standout tracks from this album, because each song is pure class. There is not a filler track to be found, and each song oozes quality.

The band are due to make their debut trip stateside on quite an extensive tour in support of the album, which will take them all across the country and includes slots at Maryland Deathfest and Chaos In Tejas fest in Texas, so with the American tour imminent and the album freshly released, I thought it was a perfect time to make Miasmal my band of the week, and to give Pontus a grilling…

Hails Pontus! Please introduce the readers to Miasmal…

“Miasmal was formed in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2007. We started out as a three-piece and were then completed with Ruben on bass in early 2008. Then we recorded the demo and the rest is history, haha! Miasmal is: Pontus (guitar/vocals), Magnus (guitar), Ruben (bass) and Micael (drums). Currently, we rehearse with stand-in drummer Björn, who is gonna play with us on our upcoming US tour.”

What inspired you to form a band that plays with such an old school death metal style?

“I guess we felt that no one really did death metal the way we liked it back in 2007. We wanted to do dirty death metal with a focus on songwriting and groove instead of virtuosity and technicality. See early Entombed or Autopsy as a good example of that!”


You have just had your debut full length album released both on CD and vinyl, by different labels. Are you happy with how it turned out?

“Yep, we are satisfied with the album. It feels very honest and ‘Miasmal’. Eight tracks, no filler, all killer. I’m also very happy with the lyrics this time. The whole thing was written as an album with continuity and variation in mind. Combined with the stellar artwork Viral Graphics did for us, this makes for a complete package, just the way I want it when I buy records myself.” [Check out Viral’s other artwork here]

You are also due to cross over the Atlantic soon to do your first tour in the states. What are you looking forward to most? Any plans to do some UK dates at some point soon?

“I’ve been in the US once before with my other band, Agrimonia and have nothing but high expectations. The US is a nice country to travel in and most people are friendly and supportive. Back then we just did the west coast, now we’re going all over the place so it will be great to see all those cities. Also we’re playing the Maryland Death Fest and Chaos in Tejas Fest, which means we’ll get to see a bunch of killer bands there. Personally I’m really looking forward to see Killing Joke at Chaos in Tejas! We’ve discussed some UK dates later this summer – stay tuned.”

The Swedish underground death metal scene seems very vibrant now, any up-and-coming bands from your country you recommend to the readers to check out who they might not be familiar with?

“I’m usually always a couple of years behind on discovering new bands, but check out Vanhelgd and Maim.”

Tell us about your crust bands, Martyrdod and Agrimonia. Do you find it hard to prioritise things with your different bands?

“Martyrdöd has been going since 2001, I joined in 2003. Heavy epic käng with three full-lengths out. We’re very sporadically active, but the last month has seen us doing a couple of gigs, and new songs are written too. Agrimonia has been going since 2005, it’s more, dare I say, ‘progressive’ – still heavy and dirty. My love for melodies and lush arrangements finds its way out in Agrimonia, but there’s still a metallic, heavy crust feel seeping through it all. Two full-lengths out, and we’re currently writing a new one. Anyone interested more in those bands check out http://agrimonia.info and http://myspace.com/martyrdod. It has never been a major problem to make time for it all. I try to stay away from steady jobs, and Martyrdöd’s acitivity goes in cycles. But now, we’re gonna do a 10-day Martyrdöd US west coast tour, right after I’m done with Miasmal. [It’ll be the] first time Martyrdöd goes outside of Europe.”

Lyrically, what subjects do you tend to touch upon?

“I didn’t think of it too much when writing, but afterwards I realised several of the songs are about the apocalypse. I think it’s hard not to feel the impending doom around us, which got me thinking on ways to survive it, mutation, alchemy etc. Twisted, inhuman ideas mostly, which connect to the apocalypse being strongly related to human failure and the human condition.”

Any last words /things you want to plug to the readers out there?

“Thanks for reading, and thank you Kat for the interview! We just launched an good old web page at www.miasmal.net as an alternative to the cluttered mess of Myspace. Here you can read all of the lyrics, new and old. We hope to see any of you US citizens reading this on the tour. Cheers!”

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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