My love of the French extreme metal scene grows with each new band I “discover.” Home to some of the most atmospheric and intense bands on the planet, France continues to produce top-shelf extreme metal at a steady pace. Mithridatic, for instance, have created one of the most atmospheric blackened death metal records I’ve heard in some time with their latest release, Miserable Miracle.
Starting things off with eerie choral vocals, ambient washes of sound, screaming filtered in (as if from another dimension) and clips from horror movies, Miserable Miracle quickly establishes itself as a terrifying slab of metal. The blend of black metal atmosphere with death metal brutality is near-perfect on tracks like “…For Terror and The Crowd,” coming off as a mix of Behemoth and Anaal Nathrakh. Brutally heavy death metal riffs with mid-ranged growls (think Nile) coupled with a echo-y, reverb-laden production, Mithridatic terrifies the listeners, while beating them senseless. “Oxydized Trigger Sabotage” is a nightmarish landscape of sound, and captures the spirit of the record perfectly.
There’s not much to dislike here, since the black metal and death metal tones are given equal footing throughout the album. Miserable Miracle is heavy on atmosphere, but is also a brutal record. Don’t expect Belphegor here, but more like a mix between Behemoth and Deathspell Omega, and some Anaal Nathrakh thrown in for good measure. These comparisons don’t quite do the overall sound justice, though, as Mithridatic have created their own unique version of atmospheric blackened death metal. This is a band you’ll want to keep both eyes on.