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Osmed – Territory of Warfare

Osmed is a brutal death metal band that hails from South Jakarta. Forming in 2009, they released an EP called Ultimate of Realms Ruination six years later and a full-length album called Territory of Warfare three years after that. I like the cover art. It depicts the brutality but also the glory of medieval warfare. I could talk about how this type of warfare was fundamentally different from that which exists in the modern world, especially on a spiritual level, but several other authors have done that better than I ever could, so I will simply say that I enjoy it when bands depict medieval combat on their album covers.

The music is primitive and violent. They play that common style of brutal death metal that features an equal balance of raging fast parts and stomping slow parts. The drums frequently switch between rampaging blast beats and more focused mid-paced rhythms. The snare sounds a bit raw, but not so raw that it becomes annoying. Simple bone-breaking beats are played during the slam parts and they also include a few fills. The bass sounds gritty and thick, and whenever it shows up, it makes the music as suffocating as a battlefield covered by smoke and dust.

The vocals are the stand-out element for me. They consist of a deep and guttural growl that is grotesque and merciless. They are delivered in a powerful way that few can match. The guitars are also superb. During the blasting parts they play a mixture of dark chord progressions, chromatic riffs, and tremolo riffs. When the tempo is pulled back, they play simple chugging riffs that are frequently broken up by pinch harmonics. It’s a pretty standard array of riffs, but the band arranges and plays them in a way that keeps me interested.

Osmed doesn’t sound all that different from other brutal death metal bands, but they were still heavy and engaging, and that’s good enough for me. You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel. You just need to make good art.