[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
Ævangelist signed up with Debemur Morti after their tremendously horrifying debut “De Masticatione Mortuorum In Tumulis” (released on I, Voidhanger). “Omen Ex Simulacra” came out last year. This year Matron Thorn (composer on Benighted in Sodom) and Ascaris (former bass player on Velnias and presently in Shavasana) have another offer for conversion.
With its excessive formalism and exaggerated atmospheric turn, “De Masticatione…” highlighted the death of a genre and marked the beginning of its decadence. Such a repulsive hybrid between Esoteric, Nile, Portal and Disembowelment anchored in industrial mechanical treatment à la Godflesh, Reverence and Thee Axis Of Perdition could only have raised streams of penury into the consciousness of the abused death metal worshipper. Or simply create an opulence of obnoxious, infernal death metal visuals that would obsessively hook the listener to this block of noises. An effect more ambiguous with the band’s next record, “Omen Ex Simulacra”; for on this following picture the polychromatic sound is literally splashed on the eyes of the beholder, who in his turn becomes more interested in escaping this musical amalgam, rather than absorbing it.
“Writhes In The Murk”, as the title plainly suggests, aspires to be an expressionist exploration of the most ghastly states human flesh and the corollary psyche can endure. When they have a glimpse at beauty in nature or habits, the two adventurers in the murk radically reverse the image for the sheer goal of extracting the vile in it. The record leaves off the dressing for the most blatant reality and sings a “Hosanna” in the name of abjectness and disgust within, from the first song of the album. Surprisingly, the composition is spacious and apparently ventilated, leaving less room for the unbreathable death-noise metal, and stressing a rhythmic groove adapted to an almost religious lyrical tendency.
Ævangelist are playing on typical death-doom riffs under the perspective of the new approaches we have seen lately on the occult pledges of infernal devotion and esoteric upheaval in death metal music. All such ingredients are but arranged in order to serve a visually accessible goal, that of painting the horror. “The Only Grave”, a musical adaptation of Fulci’s grotesque movie The Beyond, makes possible what electronics-based projects like Melek-Tha and Gnaw Their Tongues have tried to convey by using analogue devices that fail to transcribe diabolism to deviances in the way a guitar or bass-driven composition manages to.
In the same idea, if the next track, “Præternigma” hadn’t received the atmospheric treatment consisting among other things of eerie loops and volatile echoing effects, it would perhaps have remained a more adventurous Swedish old-school death metal (of the Putereaeon vein). Matorn Thorn and Ascarias bring in the Incantation of the next century in a monumental attempt to reconfigure dark, brutal death metal. The band’s major asset is their effective and refined handling of industrial sounds along with a sharp sense of rendering phantasmagoric ambiances.
More than on the previous album, the balance between organized sounds and chaotic masses of flowing noise is here finely regulated. After the quieting apostrophe of “Disquiet”, a modular anthem chanted in industrial machine voices to an aborted creator, the register of the album shifts to an intrepid mannerism, adding unexpected conclusions and arabesque constructions to the massive death metal background.
Ævangelist pours down an “Ælixir”, of whose ingredients you may vaguely recognize an abused saxophone; as for the rest, the liquefied sounds are mixed in such a turbulent manner that you have to receive them as they are and just get stoned with them.
When you listen to the voices spelled out by Ascaris, an image of an evil summoning takes shape in front of your eyes. He multiplies into several entities, as if being himself several agents for savage perversions and spiteful occult ministries of punishment and opprobrium. He translates the anguish to every part of your body on the subliminal frequency that attacks the inner senses. Open the ears and “Harken To The Flesh” on this piece (of Blut Aus Nord chromatic) of wrathful taming of the shrew within.
The artwork for “Writhes In The Murk” is created by Polish artist Andrzej Masianis, where a feminine embodiment of virtue is enraptured by a faceless force of the dark spectrum. Should this be the “Halo Of Lamented Glory’ (the following song), the tearing-apart of the spirit against the whole futility of a goal in existence? The cadence of the song keeps pace with an epic death metal, brutalized and enforced by blasting sludge and noise cacophonies connecting music with astral planes of Lovecraftian demonism. Any prosaic soothing of sterile romantic idealism bluntly perishes on the metronomic hammering of this authoritarian narration, so that in the end one may remember Job’s “I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all.”
Like in the death-given embrace suggested on the cover image, the same ritualistic scale from the beginning appears again on the homonym song, “Writhes In The Murk”. The ophidian death metal of the Dark Descent records inspiration is displayed here like in a final breath, crawling back inside the murk where it may twist and writhe far from the sight of the despised sun.
Out of the obscurity the evangelists of the Vilest News have stretched out their hands to ignite an auto-da-fé and submit those damned or insane enough to keep their ears and minds open. Aren’t you already questioning yourself on what the outcome of such a trial would be?