Sentinel Daily editor Scott Adams – a man proudly in charge of a Latin ‘O’ Level – tells me that the title of Polish doomsters Evangelist‘s new offering, Ad Mortem Festinamus, roughly translates as ‘death’; it’s also the title of a very famous piece of pre-renaissance European music from the famed Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (The Red Book of Montserrat) concerning the inevitability of death. So, deathly credentials established, do these anonymous men of Kraków deal in a deathly form of metal?
Most definitely not. Evangelist deal in a superbly overblown form of epic doom that will have lovers of ‘proper’ heavy metal weeping like babes on first contact. This is very definitely the real deal if true metal is your thing; The opening brace of tracks Perceval and Anubis (On The Onyx Throne of Death) contain enough ferrous content between them to keep a squadron of metal detectorists going for years, but that’s just the start. By the album’s end – a cover of Mystification by Manilla Road, just in case any doubts remained in the brain of the casual listener over just how ‘metal’ Evangelist actually are – you’ll be scuttling off for a listen to a couple of Steps albums just to stop yourself suffering from metal poisoning…
That Evangelist are ineffably metal, then, goes without further comment. It’s a shame they insist on anonymity as players, as they surely deserve any plaudits coming their way for the commitment to metal shared by all the members; the lead playing on Puritan is quite stunning in an old school, non-flashy kind of way – classic Candlemass comes to mind momentarily – but I guess that’s all part of their mystique.
Doom is one of the most over-used descriptors in today’s metal world; it’s not simply enough to own the first four Black Sabbath to consider yourself ‘doom’. Other forces are at play. And on this album, Evangelist take those forces and mould them to their will, in the process creating some of the purest metal you’ll have heard in quite some time. And for that I lavish on them rivers of unstinting praise, whoever they are.
Ad Mortem Festinamus releases on December 18th.