Category: Reviews

Shadow of the Horns: Life-changing metal albums

Ævangelist – “Gatekeeper’s Scroll”

Ævangelist claim to be from Illinois and Oregon, but I suspect they might have ripped through the fabric of space and time and were sent here from a parallel demon dimension. How else do you account for the chaotic hellscape of “Gatekeeper’s Scroll”? This is thrilling, terrifying stuff that doesn’t entirely make sense on a first listen, but compels all the same. Ævangelist are steeped in a harrowingly intense and artful style of blackened death metal that fits somewhere along a plane between French visionaries Blut Aus Nord and Canadian death-maticians Gorguts. Here, it’s not so much time signatures that are being rendered into unpredictable shapes so much as the sound of the song itself. It’s rife with blasts of raucous death metal, but surrounded by storms of ambient sound, with creepy bell sounds that were seemingly plucked from a horror film. This is sheer audio terror, and I love all six minutes and 30 seconds of it.

Read about the other life-changing albums here.



Ten months have passed since the otherworldly entity known as Ævangelist released their third album,Writhes In the Murk, but they have not been resting quietly in the aftermath of that visionary emanation. Some of their activities since then have been made public, others have been the subject of hints and rumors, and still others we are pleased to announce today for the first time — including the release of a nightmarish new work entitled Dream An Evil Dream. Read on, as we collect what we have learned — and prepare yourselves for a stream of these new sounds from the Abysscape, following this news:


The revelations continue at No Clean Singing.

Writhes In The Murk Review + Full Stream at Cvlt Nation


Read the full review and listen to the stream at Cvlt Nation.

Writhes In The Murk is without a doubt one of the densest albums released so far this year. It indulges in noise and abstract heaviness without forsaking their chops. The instrumentation spirals into diabolic flurries that sound like a cross between Mr. Bungle and Deathspell Omega. The more black metal element slither along side the denser climate of death metal, but this project has now transcended both both genres. They reach out to harshness of every scope, even touching open an industrial abrasiveness. On the title track they utilize a sample of a girl talking which fades in and out of the din, almost taking the place of vocals, which are relegated to mutters and snarls out from the shadows. Chances are if you are reading this, you like your metal dark and unconventional. If that is the case, this could be the best album of the year that you miss out on if you don’t check them out. 

Writhes In The Murk review from Echoes and Dust


Ævangelist is kind of my deal. I love the extreme evil and waves of horror that Matron Thorn and Ascaris create. Their first EP came out in 2011, with their first full-length album De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis following less than a year later. The duo released another EP and an LP in 2013. They have returned this year with Writhes in the Murk, their darkest album yet.

Writhes in the Murk is Ævangelist doing what they do best, playing a mix of death metal, black metal, and industrial with a touch of jazz and a saxophone. I know that sounds batshit insane. It pretty much is. Their brand of metal is extreme in an almost inaccessible way. I think that’s kind of the point. Ævangelist doesn’t want you to enjoy what you’re listening to. Writhes in the Murk will strip the flesh from your bones and any shred of emotion from your soul.

Continue reading the full review by Jeremiah Nelson at Echoes and Dust.

Invisible Oranges comments on Writhes In The Murk

Read the whole commentary while listening to the album over at Invisible Oranges.

Ævangelist‘s Writhes in the Murk sounds like Debemur Morti‘s entire discography played at the same time. It’s slithering death metal, cosmic horror black metal, back alley industrial, and the Promethean scream of noise. Needless to say, it’s extreme, which makes this either the greatest or worst sales pitch depending on the type of metal you currently seek out.

Here’s the dividing line: There’s a phase some metalheads go through where the end of the extreme spectrum is all that matters. (There’s no age range attached to this, the phase might last a lifetime. Recurrence isn’t uncommon. If you’re there, lucky you. It’s a nice place to be.) Metal uniquely caterers to this desire, treating the phrase ‘over-the-top’ as if it was a sport logging records that are meant to be bested. While you’re in the extreme phase, you love that sports mentality because you love what it tells you about yourself. By exploring the outer limits, you’re testing your own limits, chipping away chunks of character until you discover an identity. Then comes a day when that pursuit unexpectedly ceases and anything tagged as “terrifying” is a kitten’s meow compared to the first five minutes of the evening news.

Put simply: People who search out extremes will love this album. Those who don’t, won’t.

That’s not to say what Ævangelist are doing isn’t worth your time if extremity isn’t your be-all and end-all. It is. Writhes in the Murk is an interesting album, one that you should play at least once, though it’s better served if you can give it a few spins. It’s inventive and, holy crap, is it busy. The amount of sonic detail packed into Writhes‘ 59 minutes could even make Steve Austin’s eyes cross. Matron Thorn (all instruments, noise) and Ascaris (vocals), the two American nuts behind this muck, have plenty of worthwhile ideas. If only they could separate a few of them from the total sensory overload. . .

Still, endure Writhe‘s downsides and you’ll find every song has one great riff or passage. Opener “Hosanna” fires up a chug around the 2:15 mark that burns through the thick cloud of nonsense proceeding it. “Disquiet,” the most immediately palatable cut, is an industrial instrumental that eases back on the internal mandate to brick the waveform. “Harken to the Flesh” has the best death metal moments, gathering up bone-rattling riffs, sinewy leads twisting together in a Bosch-ian nightmare, and Ascaris’ deliriously feral guttural into an unnerving whole. The closing title track takes a break from the through-composed madness to use repetition to its advantage, planting a seed that sprouts and blooms over its nine minutes. It actually unlocks the rest of the album. When “Hosanna” loops back around, Writhe starts to fall into place and legitimately catchy sections crawl out from the ooze. If you can believe it, that first listen teaches you to tune out the noise. Musique concrète practitioners would be pretty proud of that trick.

But, yeesh, that first listen is a chore. (Then again, that might be the point. Ævangelist probably don’t want fair-weather listeners.) Tracks that should stick don’t, vanishing in a puff of WTF. “Ælixir” evokes compelling imagery if you’re in the right frame of mind — a murder occurring behind a city dumpster while, down the block, a saxophonist plays for tourist’s change — but it can also be plain annoying, like a drunk Philip Glass composing for his next haunted house by using his nails on a chalkboard. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially if your planner is packed and thoroughly-explored albums of yesteryear are constantly calling. However, for those stretching out in the extreme phase, welcome to a new level of extreme metal. May you find yourself while working towards clearing the bar.


Præternigma premier- No Clean Singing


Listen to the premier and read the review at No Clean Singing.


Horrific tearing noises accompanied the sundering of space-time, and through the rent in the dimensional membrane we received the latest transmission from the void-faring entity known asÆvangelist. Today we share with you this new hymn, as we deliver the premiere of “Præternigma”.

Although the band’s album, Omen Ex Simulacra  emerged from the Abysscape only last fall, Debemur Morti Productions will soon be releasing a new full-length named Ævangelist III – Writhes in the Murk. It’s shrouded in striking cover art  created by Andrzej Masianis, who also painted the cover for the last Ævangelist album.

From its inception, the music of Ævangelist has been devoted to the creation of mental imagery, emotional response, and physical sensation. The dense atmospheric sounds resist classification, as if a cyclone had scoured the musical landscape and caught up within its chaotic spinning mass the broken shards of death metal, black metal, dark ambient, industrial metal, powerviolence, and black noise (and the new album also includes saxophones and cello). Though guided by the same philosophy, the third Ævangelist hymnal is their most varied and immersive work yet, as the band employ new techniques for exerting their grasp on the imaginations of listeners.

“Præternigma” is the new album’s third track. There is something lost in listening to it without having been exposed to what comes before and what comes after, yet even standing alone it exerts a powerful hold on the senses. The music is dense and enveloping, with writhing, grinding riffs generating a moving mass of ominous sound, with eerie electronic noises and floating synthesizer ambience adding to the atmosphere of otherworldly menace. As the song unfolds, the storm of sound is segmented and altered by changing rhythms as the drumbeats move from rolling thunder, to bursts of jackhammer bludgeoning, to tumbling somersaults, to a booming processional march.

There’s a slow, descending chord progression moving within this bleak cacophony, as if a message of doom is being repeated until there’s no mistaking its import. The vocals also seem to be proclaiming some horrific litany, voiced in an array of terrible utterances, from subterranean gutturals to rising howls to despairing spoken words. You listen to the song and your mind’s eye sees disturbing vistas, but you can’t look away.

Ævangelist consists of Ascaris (vocals, saxophones, cello) and Matron Thorn (guitars, bass, drums, ambience/FX, noise, and vocals on “Harken To the Flesh”). Writhes In the Mark is now available for pre-order (both digipack CD and 12″ vinyl) at this location. The track list is as follows:

1. Hosanna
2. The Only Grave
3. Præternigma
4. Disquiet
5. Ælixir
6. Harken to the Flesh
7. Halo of Lamented Glory
8. Writhes in the Murk

Santa Sangre reviews Writhes In The Murk

Read the full review and listen to The Only Grave at Santa Sangre Magazine.


Ævangelist signed up with Debemur Morti after their tremendously horrifying debut “De Masticatione Mortuorum In Tumulis” (released on I, Voidhanger). “Omen Ex Simulacra” came out last year. This year Matron Thorn (composer on Benighted in Sodom) and Ascaris (former bass player on Velnias and presently in Shavasana) have another offer for conversion.

With its excessive formalism and exaggerated atmospheric turn, “De Masticatione…” highlighted the death of a genre and marked the beginning of its decadence. Such a repulsive hybrid between Esoteric, Nile, Portal and Disembowelment anchored in industrial mechanical treatment à la Godflesh, Reverence and Thee Axis Of Perdition could only have raised streams of penury into the consciousness of the abused death metal worshipper. Or simply create an opulence of obnoxious, infernal death metal visuals that would obsessively hook the listener to this block of noises. An effect more ambiguous with the band’s next record, “Omen Ex Simulacra”; for on this following picture the polychromatic sound is literally splashed on the eyes of the beholder, who in his turn becomes more interested in escaping this musical amalgam, rather than absorbing it.

“Writhes In The Murk”, as the title plainly suggests, aspires to be an expressionist exploration of the most ghastly states human flesh and the corollary psyche can endure. When they have a glimpse at beauty in nature or habits, the two adventurers in the murk radically reverse the image for the sheer goal of extracting the vile in it. The record leaves off the dressing for the most blatant reality and sings a “Hosanna” in the name of abjectness and disgust within, from the first song of the album. Surprisingly, the composition is spacious and apparently ventilated, leaving less room for the unbreathable death-noise metal, and stressing a rhythmic groove adapted to an almost religious lyrical tendency.

Ævangelist are playing on typical death-doom riffs under the perspective of the new approaches we have seen lately on the occult pledges of infernal devotion and esoteric upheaval in death metal music. All such ingredients are but arranged in order to serve a visually accessible goal, that of painting the horror. “The Only Grave”, a musical adaptation of Fulci’s grotesque movie The Beyond, makes possible what electronics-based projects like Melek-Tha and Gnaw Their Tongues have tried to convey by using analogue devices that fail to transcribe diabolism to deviances in the way a guitar or bass-driven composition manages to.

In the same idea, if the next track, “Præternigma” hadn’t received the atmospheric treatment consisting among other things of eerie loops and volatile echoing effects, it would perhaps have remained a more adventurous Swedish old-school death metal (of the Putereaeon vein). Matorn Thorn and Ascarias bring in the Incantation of the next century in a monumental attempt to reconfigure dark, brutal death metal. The band’s major asset is their effective and refined handling of industrial sounds along with a sharp sense of rendering phantasmagoric ambiances.

More than on the previous album, the balance between organized sounds and chaotic masses of flowing noise is here finely regulated. After the quieting apostrophe of “Disquiet”, a modular anthem chanted in industrial machine voices to an aborted creator, the register of the album shifts to an intrepid mannerism, adding unexpected conclusions and arabesque constructions to the massive death metal background.

Ævangelist pours down an “Ælixir”, of whose ingredients you may vaguely recognize an abused saxophone; as for the rest, the liquefied sounds are mixed in such a turbulent manner that you have to receive them as they are and just get stoned with them.

When you listen to the voices spelled out by Ascaris, an image of an evil summoning takes shape in front of your eyes. He multiplies into several entities, as if being himself several agents for savage perversions and spiteful occult ministries of punishment and opprobrium. He translates the anguish to every part of your body on the subliminal frequency that attacks the inner senses. Open the ears and “Harken To The Flesh” on this piece (of Blut Aus Nord chromatic) of wrathful taming of the shrew within.

The artwork for “Writhes In The Murk” is created by Polish artist Andrzej Masianis, where a feminine embodiment of virtue is enraptured by a faceless force of the dark spectrum. Should this be the “Halo Of Lamented Glory’ (the following song), the tearing-apart of the spirit against the whole futility of a goal in existence? The cadence of the song keeps pace with an epic death metal, brutalized and enforced by blasting sludge and noise cacophonies connecting music with astral planes of Lovecraftian demonism. Any prosaic soothing of sterile romantic idealism bluntly perishes on the metronomic hammering of this authoritarian narration, so that in the end one may remember Job’s “I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all.”

Like in the death-given embrace suggested on the cover image, the same ritualistic scale from the beginning appears again on the homonym song, “Writhes In The Murk”. The ophidian death metal of the Dark Descent records inspiration is displayed here like in a final breath, crawling back inside the murk where it may twist and writhe far from the sight of the despised sun.

Out of the obscurity the evangelists of the Vilest News have stretched out their hands to ignite an auto-da-fé and submit those damned or insane enough to keep their ears and minds open. Aren’t you already questioning yourself on what the outcome of such a trial would be?

Ævangelist ‎– Writhes In The Murk
Debemur Morti Productions, DMP0114
CD/LP 2014

New German review of De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis 2xLP

De Masticone

XXL-Rock published a new review of the De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis 2xLP in German.

An automated English translation is posted below.

Read the untranslated German review at XXL-Rock.

A very disturbing feature of this album by American band Ævangelist. Originally published in 2012 on an underground label completely unknown to me, I, Voidhanger Records, (and therefore probably also almost completely unknown to the public) the Swedes of Blood Harvest Records is re-releasing the album as a Double- LP!

As far as this, we come to the music – and it certainly has in itself. The two protagonists Matron Thorn and Ascaris, which some might know from the black metal band Benighted in Sodom, put on their debut full on atmosphere and the setting of chaos, despair and blackest malice. But they mix their death metal with elements of industrial, noise and a lot of drone. You can tell even at this description, this is food for the whole broken among us. Clean from the cold, the frightening atmosphere the album reminds a little of the loonies of Mysticum and their “In the Streams of Inferno” masterpiece, go musically but a completely different way by down deep diving the depths of the dark music, there where no melodies, no structures exist and the pure dissonance is at home.

It’s amazing how well two of in my opinion the most extreme musical genres, namely Drone and noise on this album are linked (I almost wrote “harmonize,” but that would be in this context, more than inappropriate!) And something deeply broken, but of course precisely why create fascinating sound work. Okay, most people would describe it as pure noise (but then those ignorant individuals who also hold Ildjarn for total scrap ….), for a select few is likely to be a small revelation this album.

Sick, disturbing, broken, all this certainly fits as a description for “De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis” but also be “fascinating,” “borders border”, or “hypnotic”. Test it out and your own judgment, I find this work damn cool!

Christian Hemmer



Anno Mortii – Gnostic Transcendental Heresy 10:26
Pendulum 05:52
Death Illumination 09:11
Funeral Monolith 05:31
Hierophant Disposal Facility 09:12
The Longevity of Second Death 07:29
Helix Covenant (Vinyl Bonus) 04:10
Blood & Darkness 05:29
Crematorium Angelicum 09:11

Live report: Ævangelist, Oak, Artificial Brain, Disparish @ Saint Vitus


Ævangelist’s excellent 2013 album Omen Ex Simulacra flew under the radar for a lot of people, in no small part because of its many eccentricities. The live version of the band has even more quirks. Every member wears tribal-ish makeup; vocalist Ascaris sports a mask and is prone to rolling around on the floor; instrumental main man Matron Thorn plays a hollow-bodied jazz guitar instead of the standard pointy-framed Jackson or BC Rich. Most importantly, the band doesn’t have a live drummer. They rely on a drum machine instead — always a dicey proposition for a death metal band. The band unsurprisingly suffered some sound balance issues for the first half of their set. (Note: always turn down the drum machine. Always.) But once Ævangelist hit their stride, their vortex sucked me in.

Read the entire report and see additional photos at Invisible Oranges:

Sublime Suffering: Ævangelist Live Review

11:45 P.M. – The time I finally arrived in Columbus, Ohio to behold something rarely seen and experience something rarely felt, an event that entails a complete and utter possession of the mind and body: Aevangelist live. Through three hours of snow-ridden, treacherous roadways, I made it to Carabar… to find that the band were nowhere to be seen. Their vehicle broken down in Indiana, the mysterious group lay stranded for four hours in those same subzero temperatures. Hearing this, my heart sank, thinking I had made such a long, dangerous trek for nothing.

But frozen was not the inner flame of this hellish project. They were still coming.

Read the full review form CVLT Nation: