When thinking of some of the spots of true death and terror in the United States, one is not likely to come up with Illinois and Oregon as their first few answers. There’s just nothing all that dark or warped about either of those places (that I know of) and you wouldn’t expect a hulking black creature to rise up from either of those areas and frighten death metal listeners anew.
But apparently regional location doesn’t play a huge part in what dual-headed death metal squadron Ævangelist have unleashed upon the universe in a very short time together, as their dark incantations are as sooty, bleak, and outright terrifying as any other band out there that also damages people’s psyches with their music. The band’s second record “Omen Ex Simulacra” is upon us now by way of Debemur Morti (their debut “De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis” was released by I, Voidhanger), and it’s a spiraling hellscape of drilling, dissonant death metal, deranged shrieks and howls, and an aura of fear that you just don’t get enough these days from this genre. Following the path bands such as Incantation carved out years back, and making the same type of panic as current groups such as Portal, Paroxsihzem, Abyssous, and Grave Upheaval, you’re to expect a record that’ll leave you scarred and punished mentally and one that’ll make you wonder just where in the cosmos these two pulled such chaos.
As noted, there are two people making this madness, that being Matron Thorn, responsible for all instruments and the thick, poisoned cloud of noise, and Ascaris, who contributes his inhuman, tortured growls, wails, and cries that sound like someone sliding down the path toward damnation with no helping hand within reach. These eight tracks won’t go down easy, and if you have a weak, fragile mental makeup, wanting to be thrust off the deep end so you don’t have to look evil so closely in the face would be an understandable feeling. But if you love to immerse yourself in a cacophony of sorrow and anguish so deep that it makes your chest heave and your blood surge with perverse joy, you might not find a more suitable death metal release this fall. It’s pure horror, or as they choose to call it “new oblivion gospel music.” Bow your heads.
The record opens with “Veils,” a horrifying display that runs more than 12 minutes and might be a good indication of what hell might sound like. The sounds are eerie and monstrous when they stretch themselves over the song, and once the sludgy death erupts, the drums go into full punishment mode. The band ramps things up to a hurricane fury, and it’s impossible to get off the ride to safety. You’re just screwed, they know it, and they keep hammering at you with infernal chaos. “Mirror of Eden” takes the insanity you heard up to this point and shakes it violently, as the shrieks sound inhuman and tortured, and the song spirals into a sick pit of flames. “Hell Synthesis” is thundering and suffocating, with noises zapping over your head and through your body, thunder crackling threateningly, and the vocals reaching muddy new lows. “The Devoured Aeons of Stygian Eternity” opens with a fairly thick doom complexion, with boiling noise, menacing guitar guitar work, dizzy and slurry melodies, and growls that sound buried six feet under ground. The whole thing is suffocating and weird and might make you claustrophobic.
“Prayer for Ascetic Memory” chugs heavily and really unloads on your senses, with blistering riffs and monstrous vocals that complete this song’s mission of total assault. It’s a vicious piece for all of its running time, and it’s one of the heaviest tracks on the album. “Relinquishing Destiny” is the shortest song on the record at 4:37, and it’s made up of guitar shrieks, wild drumming, and gasped growls that sound like Ascaris is heaving his words as painfully as possible. The final two tracks on the album ramp up the experimentation and odd noise making even further, making the last 19 minutes something to truly behold. “Seclusion” rips open with massive drumming, scathing vocals, strange synth scrapes, and an element of horror that might not be physically tangible but that you know is there, hanging over your head. The song concludes with dizzying guitar runs, industrial-style drubbing, and horns raging out of control as if they’re desperately trying to announce Armageddon. Closer “Abysscape,” that clocks in at just under 13 minutes, has spooky trudging and smeary, messy noise. It feels like a mental and physical breakdown going into your ears, as the band slithers along, and growls grow even more frightening. Most of the song is an all-out assault, but the final few minutes find them wiping their canvas with bloody hands, synth laser strikes, more bizarre horns, and a mass of noise that’s thick and suffocating, taking your consciousness along with them into the dark.
Ævangelist’s commitment to charnel morbidity and relentless chaos is evident, and this second record of theirs totally hits that spot that longs for death metal that makes your insides go cold. This alien, scarred platter puts this band in that rare territory of new artists who pay more attention to sonic aesthetics and chilling savagery than they do their own images or commercial accessibility, and those very choices are what help Ævangelist be one of the planet’s most blood-curdling, unsettling bands. You’ve been warned.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/aevangelist.official
To buy the album, go here: http://www.eitrin.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.debemur-morti.com/