Ævangelist
Omen Ex Simulacra

Outsiders often refer to our beloved genre as “scary music” or just “noise.” This jaded, 20+ year fan of extreme metal got a sense of how they feel the first time I listened to Omen Ex Simulacra, Ævangelist’s second full-length and first on Debemur Morti Productions (the most appropriate label for this band). Last year’s De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis fell short of their self-proclaimed intent to not “play death metal, black metal, or any other type of ‘music’ for your enjoyment” with “decidedly few discernable riffs.” This does not.

Dissonant guitars churn and whir, inhuman vocals roar and shriek, and unpredictable mechanized drums tumble and blast while deeply dark ambient echoes beneath to form profoundly terrifying, amorphous soundscapes that sound more like something SETI might detect from some malicious intelligence than anything made by humans. This isn’t something you just casually listen to. It’s an album that consumes you from beginning to end, dragging you disoriented and gasping for air through a wormhole to an unimaginable, alien dimension. You won’t remember much when it’s over, but you know you just experienced something extraordinary that has embedded itself in your brain like a trauma you have to keep revisiting to fully understand.

It’s nearly impossible to differentiate one merciless track from the next, but on this astral plane, things like memorable riffs and songwriting don’t matter. Much like Blut Aus Nord‘s underrated MoRT masterpiece, this is an album of mystifying moments and palpable atmosphere that you absorb as a whole, transfixed by the ever-shifting forms of cosmic horror. Instead of including standout tracks of a more industrial and doom-like nature as on their debut, those influences are now spread more evenly throughout the maelstrom’s many layers, which the production thankfully allows to be heard without sounding remotely polished. Some fragments in the storm are more arresting like the absolutely horrific screams of “Mirror of Eden,” while others are more subtle like the sax in “Seclusion” that took me several listens to notice. Somehow both are equally unsettling.

This is your darkest nightmare in audio form. If you don’t have nightmares, this will give them to you. If Incantation’s Onward to Golgotha and Godflesh’s Streetcleaner could somehow be overlapped, mastered onto a black hole accretion disc, and then blasted through its polar jets, it would probably sound like this. That’s the best way I can think of to sum it up. It’s really something you need to hear for yourself to see if you have a taste for it. Just be careful about letting any of your non-metalhead friends and family hear it. They may seriously question your sanity more than ever before.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Adam Palm
December 10th, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: vugelnox

    I enjoyed their debut but I agree it showed a band still working out the kinks and honing their sound. This one is a substantial improvement and fits nicely alongside the likes of Mitochondrion, Portal and Vassafor. Good stuff!!


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