Do you remember the scene in Ridley Scott’s Alien in which Harry Dean Stanton’s (RIP) Brett gets offed by the titular space invader? Our younger readers may want to pull that up on YouTube, but the reason I ask is because the grimy, damp and claustrophobic set design on display matches the aesthetic that Ossuarium is serving up on Living Tomb (20 Buck Spin). Brief, almost acoustic passages come in here and there, but for most of its run time, Living Tomb lives up to its moniker.
Death Metal and Doom are going to be the typical responses to Ossuarium’s brand of recorded arson and while not wrong there are other elements at play here. ‘Corrosive Hallucinations’ and ‘Blaze of Bodies’ also incorporate icy Black Metal riffage and frigid almost machine-like blast beats in addition to the death and doom foundation. Also, present is a love for flashy solos that harkens back to classic Bay Area Thrash. ‘Writhing In Emptiness’ rips open with a lead that would make Trey Azagthoth proud but saves a couple of guitar solos in its second half that ring with the majesty and finesse of a vintage Kirk Hammett.
Nate McCleary’s intergalactic guitar shred also rears its head on ‘End Of Life Dreams And Visions Pt. 1’ and serves as the perfect countermeasure to the staccato pounding rhythm guitars and guttural roars emitted by Daniel Kelley. Some may be so inclined to refer to Kelley’s vocals as monochromatic, but his low throaty barks are far too impressive to be dismissed. My guess is that as a child he was raised on a steady diet of black coffee, cigarettes and most frightening of all, bone-dry bowls of Captain Crunch. And while we’re on the subject make sure to pay attention to how lovely Kelley’s work pairs with the block-cracking breakdown that wraps up ‘Malicious Equivalence.’
Ossuarium, because now we can all imagine what it’s like to die a slow death at the hands of a perfect organism.
7 / 10