Ævangelist
Enthrall to the Void of Bliss

Ævangelist will always hold a special place in my metal heart. The first review I ever wrote was for their 2012 debut, De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis, and I’ve covered every full-length that they’ve done since. Putting their inhuman sounds into words hasn’t been easy, but I’ve enjoyed the challenge. This fourth full-length in as many years is no exception in that regard, but it does exhibit a slight shift in their paradigm.

The first difference you’ll notice is a relative clarity that past albums seemed to strive against. More riffs than ever can now be heard through what had been an increasingly impenetrable wall of sound. This is most evident in “Gatekeepers Scroll,” which includes some post punk chord progressions and their most structured songwriting. This more pronounced sense of structure can be felt throughout the entire album as the songs are more distinguishable than ever before. The most surprising of them is the dungeon trip-hop of “Alchemy.” Its brief runtime doesn’t keep it from being a standout moment that makes me wonder what this band’s future could hold.

Another change wasn’t so obvious at first, but as the album progressed, I began to realize that I wasn’t being held in the same deep space, alien torture chamber of previous albums. This feels more like a dank, abandoned asylum haunted by the tormented souls of its former inhabitants. The shift in atmosphere is at least partially due to their signature dark ambient undercurrent being almost entirely replaced by spastic harp playing, which does add to the deranged atmosphere at times, but I don’t find it to be a fair trade overall. This, along with a diminished industrial influence and some chanted clean vocals spread throughout, has brought their sound down to earth…or some horrifying version of it, anyway.

However, that’s not to say that every vestige of cosmic horror has been left behind. It still lurks within some tracks, like the hypnotic, 13+ minute album closer, “Meditation of Transcendental Evil.” I can see this possibly going down as a transitional album. Despite a few unfavorable decisions, it’s good to see them trying new things. Any fans of Portal, Impetuous Ritual, Abyssal, and the like who have yet to plunge into Aevangelist’s parallel universe, now is the time.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Adam Palm
October 19th, 2015

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