Writhes In The Murk

Written by: MST on 30/10/2014 22:50:44

Ævangelist, one of the more popular bands in the recent wave of chaotic and atmospheric blackened death metal, have been busy ever since their inception in 2010. Two EP's, a split and three studio albums is the accumulated mass of released material from the American duo after the release of this year's "Writhes In The Murk". Following last year's "Omen Ex Simulacra" which saw the band turning to a slightly more accessible approach in song writing, "Writhes In The Murk" builds upon the band's established foundation of dark and atmospheric, heavily synthdriven death metal.

Ævangelist work from the general idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Stripped down to its core, the individual elements of Ævangelist's sound are incredibly simple: straightforward riffing, programmed drums that vary back and forth between blasting and mid-tempo, and cavernous guttural growls. What makes Ævangelist a special entity is the use of highly disturbing synthwork, which combined with the heavy riffs and guttural vocals create an incredibly dense wall of sound that invokes images of hellish dimensions where torture and demonic possession are regular pastime events. However, since Ævangelist are so reliant on the synths to make their sound work, you often feel like greater emphasis on riffs is needed to make this sound work in the long run.

Ævangelist have tried just that on "Writhes In The Murk". In songs like opening track "Hosanna", you barely even notice the synths in the background, as the heavy riffing completely dominates the soundscape. But this reveals Ævangelist's already apparent weakness: their riffs simply aren't strong enough to stand on their own for the most part. Where the first and (to a lesser extent) second albums were downright terrifying, most of "Writhes In The Murk" comes off as mildly unsettling. When the band return to their tried and tested formula on songs like "Ælixir" and "Harken To The Flesh" all is forgiven and it becomes clear that Ævangelist clearly haven't run out of ideas despite it being their third studio album in three years. The ominous atmosphere in these tracks is what Ævangelist are all about: the sound of invocating hordes of the most hellish entities known to the void.

I wanted to hear Ævangelist focus on riffing instead of relying solely on synthwork in order to create that special atmosphere of theirs. While "Writhes In The Murk" has shown that the group's original formula was their best, it still turned out to be an enjoyable album. When the band's eerie sound is at its most effective, it's clear that Ævangelist have hit something special with their brand of atmospheric blackened death metal, and while this third album of theirs is their weakest to date it's still easily worth a listen.


Download: Ælixir, Harken to the Flesh, Halo of Lamented Glory
For The Fans Of: Mitochondrion, Abyssal, Portal
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.09.2014
Debemur Morti Productions

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