MARASMUS – Necrotic Overlord

Rating: 3.5/5
Released: 2021
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Band line-up:

Devon Ferrara -Vocals
Trynt Kelly -Drums
Brandon Culligan -Guitar
Andrew Nagorski -Guitar
Ben Axel Harvey -Bass
Justin Bird -Programming


1. Ectoplasmic Violation
2. Universal Deceit
3. Appeasing Thanatos
4. Necrotic Overlord
5. Voices of the Wailing Deceased
6. Archaic Burial Rites
7. Carrion Ascension
8. Insurrection
9. Pagan Orgies to Human Sacrifice
10. Forsaken Graves of Infant Kings


Marasmus are an American brutal death metal band on Transcending Obscurity Records, who will be releasing their upcoming album ‘Necrotic Overlord’ on 26th March, 2021. The band features members of Unmerciful, and they are for fans of (the bands!) Suffocation, Depravity, Hour of Penance, and Nile. Their sound is very stripped down, and leaves only raw aggression and rage. The album artwork was done by Rafael Tavares, a man who has also worked with death metal greats Blood Red Throne. 

Mmmm. Riffs. You sure get a lot of them. Of course you do, this is death metal, so let’s talk about something else. (For now). The lead part in track ‘Appeasing Thanatos’ has a doomy Candlemass feel. In particular I’m reminded of their album ‘Tales of Creation’. Fans of the band will know that release to be a little darker and less accessible than their more classic stuff, so be prepared to feel a little creeped out and depressed. All the other guitar solos are just as good. They are certainly very flashy and ‘shred’, but there is taste in them, too. 

The clean ambient sections in ‘Voices of the Wailing Deceased’ have a more avant-garde doom feel, which would be fine, but they are quite underdeveloped and stick out like a sore thumb, rather than them providing true interest. Final track ‘Forsaken Graves of Infant kings’ does expand on the musical adventures for about a minute, but they come a little too late. ‘Archaic Burial Rites’ starts off with some keys that create a more gothic vibe, but they do seem a little out of place, as well. Even though the same vibes get developed in the middle of the track, on the second time around the instruments are changed, only making the composition even more inconsistent. 

You can certainly expect tons of blast beats here, but perhaps the strongest moments the drummer has is in the slower sections of ‘Ectoplasmic Violation’ for example, where the tom toms are bashed in a hard rock beat feel. Despite the occasional experimentations in all areas mentioned, the stuff on offer here is mostly pretty cliched. Expect a ton of chromatic chugging patterns and Middle Eastern scales that go to 100 mph. You may be reminded of bands such as Behemoth, but the production isn’t quite as polished here, and there aren’t as many super-moshible slow sections featuring genuinely stand-out riffs. Everything is done rather well, but there are plenty of other acts who do more or less the same.

In conclusion, this stuff isn’t meant to be taken too seriously for the most part, so it’s not TOO important there are only limited ambient sections that are a bit on the random side, but the more ‘fun’ ideas such as the mental ostinatos and pounding drum loops could have been more daring. Sure the ‘singing’ is super aggressive, but it is lacking in the true passion and charisma of bands such as Nile. THERE’S a group that sound really heavy, wild and fun. This stuff is recommended if you want something non-serious and easy to get into, and there is certainly nothing to offend death metal ears, but it’s far from an all time classic. 

Review by Simon Wiedemann