Ævangelist – Enthrall to the Void of Bliss (20 Buck Spin)Thursday, 1st October 2015
Admittedly, Ævangelist’s last work (Writhes in the Murk) left an overall impression of disappointment. The year prior saw the release of Omen Ex Simulacra, an album that brought listeners to the gates of Hell, with its disorientating and hallucinogenic take on cavernous death metal. Writhes didn’t have the same creepy atmosphere (thus the disappointment), but Enthrall to the Void of Bliss seems to be intent on fixing that hiccup.
Where Writhes had more industrial-laden effects heavy on the industrial edge and less on the ghastly, “wonder what’s around the corner” variety, Enthrall sees a shift back towards Omen’s more sinister and spine-chillling atmosphere. Some of the more industrial-laden effects are here, but are saturated with creepier moments. One of the strongest examples of this has to be “Emanation,” which features some odd, gurgling sounds above the darker, malevolent guitar. The 13-minute “Meditation of Transcendental Evil” also effectively blends a more straight-ahead industrial influence alongside some eerie voices and effects. Of course, there is the Incantation-esque framework of murky, up-front but not too up-front vocals and alternating speed blasts and pummeling dirges. The oddities occurring within the effects are really what gives Ævangelist their edge, but when they work in the occasional groove or melody you can’t help but be impressed by how well it meshes. Take the almost out of place melody of “Gatekeepers Scroll” that weaves through the track, or the bone-crushing groove of “Arcanae Manifestia” as examples. There’s happily more than chaos and swirling noise to put on Ævangelist’s resume.
It’s an oddly comforting feeling to hear that Ævangelist is back to running in their best form. Bringing back more of the horrific elements to the fore-front helps to pad the diversity of this already disorienting and chaotic act. Those who long for a death metal trip that assaults the mind as much as it does the body would do well to look into Enthrall to the Void of Bliss.