Friday 5 January 2024


It is fairly common knowledge that we at Desert Psychlist tend to shy away from the more extreme ends of the rock and metal spectrum and prefer our music to be sitting at the slightly more accessible end of the underground spectrum where you can still find gnarliness but where that gnarliness is slightly diluted by elements of heavy psych, blues and old school heavy rock. Having said that we do tend to get drawn to those bands who walk a razor thin line between those two camps, something that brings us nicely around to Miasma, the subject of this review. Miasma hail from Yogyakarta, Indonesia and have heralded in the new year by releasing their debut EP (more a mini album) "A Glance Of Miasma" (Hawar Press), a gnarled and twisted mix of stoner doom, psychedelic sludge and blackened stoner metal guaranteed to blow your speakers to smithereens

It seems a "thing" to start an album or EP with a track called "Intro" these days and Miasma's debut does just that, at 3;12 this "Intro", an instrumental, lasts a little longer than most and sways back and forth between mid tempo thundering heaviness and low slow heavy psych utilising brief but wholly effective dark toned guitar solos to add texture and atmosphere to its crunchy doomic magnificence. Second track "Son of Hatred" introduces vocals on top of a plodding backdrop of crunching guitar, low growling bass and thunderous drumming, well we say "on top" but in reality they dwell somewhere in the middle of the mix and are more like harmonic bellows than actual singing, the brutality of those vocal tones combined with their vicinity in the mix working as the perfect accompaniment for the dank psych tinted heaviness surrounding them. "Druglord" is next a brooding proto-doomic behemoth with Sabbathian undertones that boasts slightly more melodic but nonetheless still bellowed vocals and features some deliciously killer lead guitar work. "The Forsaken" begins life with marching style drums beneath a  reverberating guitar and bass refrain then eases back on the accelerator to slip into a more stoner doom refrain before suddenly exploding again and taking off on a mid temp proto(ish) groove with those roared bear-like vocals once again joining the fray. Final track "Prophet of Abaddon" sees Miasma putting all their musical elements together in one song, blackened doom, swampy sludge and off-centred heavy psych all sitting side by side beneath a vocal that is manic in both its tone and its delivery, a truly beautiful ugliness.

Delightfully dank, deliciously dark and dynamically devastating Miasma's "A Glance of Miasma" debunks all those ideas some people have that anything recorded outside the America's and Europe is bound to be poorly recorded and raw. Yes there are raw edges to be found on this debut release but those edges have been put there intentionally and give the songs contained beneath its well illustrated artwork a grittiness and bite they would surely have lacked had the production been too clean and glossy. 
Check 'em out.....

© 2024 Frazer Jones

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