Ævangelist – Omen Ex Simulacra (Debemur Morti Productions)Friday, 22nd November 2013
Experimental death metal duo Ævangelist has created an album that is as inhospitable as an album can be with the release of Omen Ex Simulacra. Perhaps a tough listen, this music hates you and maybe you it, but I think that’s part of the point…and being that that’s my take on it, Omen Ex Simulacra is a success.
From the beginning of Omen Ex Simulacra, I’m lead down a corridor of nightmarish anxiety – a purgatory-like journey of confusion and phantasms, until I’m finally thrown to the wretched beast that lives within the album. Thick guitars and hammering hell-drums against a backdrop of haunted other-world melancholy tones usher me in to a dungeon of demented torment and visceral fear, a cellar with no light (album opener “Veils”). It only gets more severe from here.
Unlike more straight-forward death metal, Ævangelist uses a drum machine, which should be apparent to the mindful listener. Understandably, there are prejudices associated with this, but as we see great bands such as Summoning and Blut Aus Nord using them successfully, qualms should be put aside. Besides, this is some seriously inorganic, mind-breaking metal we’re talking about, and electronic/digital implements abound and enrich this album. In fact, they play a crucial part in the largeness of the sound, with the use of delay liberally employed, and synthesized sounds all over the place.
Vocally, guttural death metal is the styling. Departing from the rank-and-file, it weaves around in the air, encircling your head, then burrowing through your ear canals and berating you in schizophrenic layers. Unintelligible for sure, the point gets across pretty clearly – you’re fucked.
A disturbing and wholly unpleasant experience, this album holds almost horror flick appeal. Saturated to the gills (and maybe to a fault), this monster is a tsunami of sounds to drown you in its atonal hatred. Dynamics are scarce and there’s hardly time to catch a breath once this bile-cannon erupts. And speaking of time, Omen Ex Simulacra is insanely long. Appropriately, this hour-and-four-minute pummeling really does evoke an eternity spent in hell.