Aevangelist - _De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis_
(I, Voidhanger Records, 2012)
by: Chaim Drishner (7 out of 10)
This review could have easily become an all-out argumentum ad hominem manifesto against Mr. Matron Thorn, the band's mastermind and main instrumentalist (and songwriter, I guess); the effeminate-looking, skinny 23 year old prolific musician who's got the appearance of an Asian transsexual goth has been offering the metal underground something like 20 releases per year via his main project Benighted in Sodom -- middle of the road, synthetic-sounding bedroom black metal of sorts, whose only release I listened to, _Reverse Baptism_, has failed to impress me, to say the least. In addition, Mr. Thorn also participates in numerous other projects, draining his well of inspiration, until it will have dried out eventually.

The above mentioned Matron Thorn (one Reuben Christopher Jordan), whose age is nearly half of mine, likes to lecture everybody how we're not worthy and how he hopes we won't find his music enjoyable and such. His acute form of arrogance and nonsensical holier-than-thou attitude had been mentioned by me on the aforementioned _Revere Baptism_ review I once wrote. He is more depressed than you, more profound and generally the greatest musician on the face of the planet, or so he thinks, more or less.

Alas, his hyper-productivity is dwindling his sources of inspiration, his releases becoming derivative echoes of other musical entities, and _De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis_ mirrors this fact. It is, despite its positive sides, a homage to the Australian band Portal, who are, in turn, among the worst "metal" bands in existence.

Never confining myself to metal par excellence, good music is good music whichever the style may be -- metal, gothic or electronic, I don't care. So I'm not judging this or that album for their lack of enough 'metal' ingredient, mind you; I'm judging merely on the basis of the everlasting, subjective question: is the music good enough for me or not? Offering a recording that is a mere homage to an already second tier nonsensical noise band (let's face it, Portal is a noise "music" group, if there ever was one), relying virtually completely on the latter's underground "reputation" (or lack thereof), is problematic, to say the very least.

But unlike Portal, Aevangelist have got some rabbits up their sleeve, making _De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis_ a superior product; generally it is way more accessible, cohesive and 'musical', the belching, guttural vocals are better and more robustly present in the mix, and there's a healthy dose of electronica and effects that upgrade some of the tracks, turning them into wretched sounding industrial prodigies. In fact, the best track on the album is the fifth one, "Hierophant Disposal Facility", which is, accidentally or not, an all-instrumental track that's also the heaviest on electronica of the lot.

I can't deny the fact _De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis_ has a mind fucking atmosphere and some brilliant moments of death metal, but its true radiance is found in the non-metallic moments, such as the opening track, the aforementioned instrumental one and in other mesmerizing moments scattered here and there throughout the recording. When a good riff is established, it is circularly repeated, contributing to the hypnotizing, numbing nature of the recording, and the insidious keyboards present throughout the recording add a certain Gothic and esoteric dimension, especially when wisely being confronted with the low-tuned guitars and the corpulent bass.

The second half of the album is undoubtedly stronger, as it saves the whole recording from being a total Portal worshiping record, being more straightforward and user-friendly, in relative terms. _De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis_ is a challenging album that demands multiple listening sessions, whose true singularity slowly unfolds, disclosing the brighter sides of a young musician who's too busy impressing and jumping all sorts of bandwagons instead of finding his true colors, but when he eventually does, these colors are harrowing, dark and have almost no musical boundaries. Proceed with caution!


(article published 2/3/2013)

10/13/2013 D Lake 8.5 Aevangelist - Omen Ex Simulacra
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