Ævangelist - Omen Ex Simulacra
Debemur Morti Productions
Atmospheric Industrial Black Metal
8 songs (1:04:13)
Release year: 2013
Debemur Morti Productions
Reviewed by Zadok

American duo Ævangelist, the brainchild of Matron Thorn (Benighted in Sodom, ex-Bethlehem, various others) and Ascaris, walk a path of very demented atmospheric black metal indeed. Something of a throwback to the good old days of The Axis of Perdition, Ævangelist are less Silent Hill and more Lovecraftian in style, that shapeless being on the cover just as terrifying. Unlike The Axis of Perdition, who described the experience of being stalked by a nameless horror expertly, Ævangelist present the horror directly, and spend much of the running time in a high state of hysteria. Opening with the twelve minute Veils which starts with literal minutes of layered ambience, from frightened gasps to beastly grunts, it doesn't take long for the switch to harrowing black metal, echoing blasting the base for layered guitars and almost wordless growls. It's closer to the industrial soundscapes of older Aborym than more traditional black metal, yet the effect is just as intense and effective.

As ever with albums of this nature, it's a long and arduous listen, but an atmospherically effective one. The blasting fury of Mirror of Eden is as vicious and violent as any, the echoing riffs and screaming vocals built atop a shaky base of clearly programmed drums, but so intense and energetic is the music that you overlook this, not least in the second half of the track which builds into a very convincing flurry of voices and riffs. Whether slowed down a little, as in the rumbling Hell-Synthesis, or sped up and blasting to the point of chaos in The Devoured Aeons of Stygian Eternity, the hellish symphony that Ævangelist produce is one far heavier than a lot of black metal, and often just as atmospherically effective.

What makes this album especially hard to pigeon-hole is the genre interplay. Relinquished Destiny moves away from industrial metal towards a form of funeral doom, and Seclusion builds on the death metal elements to create a far more muscular and pounding form of atmosphere. It's just as harrowing, however, especially by the time you've reached the final track, Abysscape, where high-pitched keening and deep, animalistic growling almost duet in a demented opera. As mentioned, at over an hour this is a long listen as well as an intense one, so what Ævangelist have to offer won't be to every taste. Yet those who enjoy the madder productions of black metal, as well as the industrial experiments of the genre, will be in heaven - or should that be hell?

Killing Songs :
Mirror of Eden, The Devoured Aeons of Stygian Eternity, Prayer for Ascetic Misery, Abysscape
Zadok quoted 85 / 100
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