Even within the context of black/death metal, Ævangelist stands out. Constructed from head-spinning riffs and leads that are full of oppressive atmosphere and often seem to have no basis in conventional musical theory, their music is truly that of the void. A lot of bands may strive to create something that taps into a spirit of other-worldliness, summoning demons or forces from beyond our mortal realm, but few do so with such conviction as Ævangelist. Previous records have seen the group become a favourite of the underground, and latest recording Matricide in the Temple of Omega continues that run of form that will be familiar to fans of Portal and Teitanblood.
Not that this might be apparent on early listens. Black/death metal is, even at its most straight-forward, far from accessible – it is music that takes time to fully appreciate. Matricide in the Temple of Omega embraces this idea wholeheartedly. Initial listens make the album seem like a mess; following brief introduction “Divination”, the recording launches into “The Deadline” and a world of twisting, turning leads, off-kilter rhythms, fractured growls and shrieks, and riffs that seem detached from what is unfolding around them. There’s absolutely no let-up from there – over the course of these 64 minutes, there are no readily accessible hooks, no moments of catchy melody. Even if there is the odd bass melody that rises out of the murk, in an almost catchy manner that brings to mind Leviathan’s early works, such moments are the exception rather than the rule. Practically nothing that hints this was music written for the ears of anyone other than the twisted beings creating it.
Stream the carnage that is “Æon Death Knell” here.
And yet, there is something addictive about it. As much as the album wants you to turn away, to leave the world it has created and go back to your own, safer realm, there’s also something about it that will linger in the mind, festering, gnawing away at your thoughts. As impossible as it is to enjoy those initial encounters, and the record succeeds in making practically everything else in your record collection seem accessible, Matricide in the Temple of Omega will have you returning, again and again, determined to understand these mysteries in musical form.
And, just as all living things will inevitably die, it is inevitable that you will come back to this record; that, as impenetrable as it may seem, Matricide in the Temple of Omega will cast a spell on you, holding you enthralled as it wreaks its terrible works upon the world. It is practically impossible to describe an album such as this as enjoyable – and nor is it meant to be. This is the sound of beings from beyond the stars come upon us at last, of the walls between worlds breaking down, of reality surrendering to the final triumph of chaos. With time and patience, details – and some semblance of structure – begin to emerge, and whilst it is never a relaxing or easy listen, it does become an album that is deeply, deeply rewarding.
If you can’t get enough… stream the whole damned thing!
And it is an album in the truest sense – there is no point trying to discuss individual songs, such is the way they flow into one another; and that the album, to be considered properly, must be considered as a whole body of work, not broken up into convenient sections. That whole is one of the ugliest, most discordant, difficult pieces of music I have ever encountered – but also one that has had a great impact, that is all-but-impossible to steer my thoughts away from once my mind turns to it. It is perhaps fitting that such a description feels like it could also apply to some forbidden relic from Lovecraftian fiction, and to describe Matricide in the Temple of Omega in such terms is accurate. Even within the already difficult realm of extreme metal, Ævangelist have created something that doesn’t so much challenge you as defy your understanding and appreciation. You have been warned; Matricide in the Temple of Omega is repellent in the extreme.
Matricide in the Temple of Omega Track Listing:
02. Æon Death Knell
03. Omen Of The Barren Womb
04. The Sonance Of Eternal Discord
05. Serpentine As Lustful Nightmare
06. Ascending Into The Pantheon
Run Time: 61:54
Release Date: November 16, 2018
Record Label: I, Voidhanger