Ævangelist- De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis (Blood Harvest)

The nightmare begins...
Release Date: 
20 Feb 2014 - 11:30pm

Late last year, the entity known only as Ævangelist unleashed their second album of horror and repugnance upon a complacent and unsuspecting public. Omen Ex Simulacra was one of the most genuinely unsettling and punishing albums to come out in years and left many a listener traumatised with it's intensity. Clearly, Ævangelist is not a band willing to give people the time to recover, as now their label Blood Harvest has decided to re-open fresh wounds and reissue their debut LP from 2012, De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis.

Having heard their second album first, it was interesting to go back and see how the band had progressed in only a year's time. Suffice to say, the nightmare is still real on this opus, if a bit more restrained. For those unfamiliar with Ævangelist's sound, they are a band that is part of a growing movement in death metal. It's a movement that was spearheaded by Portal, and realises that the only way for death metal to grow in extremity is not through speed and blastbeats, but through making music that sounds as disturbing as possible and pushing the limits of what is palatable to human ears.

I've seen Ævangelist loosely described as "atmospheric death metal" in the past and listening to this record, I can see where they picked up the tag. Take for instance the 3 minute long build-up in opener Anno Mortii- Gnostic Transcendental Heresy, or the subtle use of industrial sounding percussion on Hierophant Disposal Facility. A typical song mixes the chaotic lo-fi swarming riffs of Portal with the horrific howling soundscapes created by Gnaw Their Tongues to great effect.

However, this earlier release could be said to be a trifle more forgiving (only by a fraction) as the band seemed more willing to embrace moments of quiet. It may be a tense, foreboding quiet but when dealing with music this punishing, any chance for a hurried gasp of oxygen is welcome relief for the uninitiated.

Ævangelist is quickly proving to be one of the rising forces in forward thinking, hair-raising music. Savvy death metal fans ignore them at their own peril.