Friday, 10 May 2013

Evangelist - Doominicanes | 65%

Fatum amet asinum 

If you read some of my previous reviews, you know that I'm a huge doom fan but that I'm not quite fond of the christian ideology many bands are using as their lyrical theme. You would say that I should have known where this band was going just by looking at their name and you would be right. Evangelist wouldn't dwell in the satanic realms and I don't necessarily want them to but based on their first album, I was expecting some more Lovecraft and Howard worship instead of an epic doom metal album about Christianity  I'm not someone who's not affected by the lyrical content of an album, it's as important as the music for me. Music is a vessel and it can be used as an ideological tool and we shouldn't underestimate the power of such creations. Considering that, the new lyrical direction killed some of my enjoyment. But the main problem is that the songwriting doesn't live up to the quality of their debut album.

Even though the songwriting is pretty similar to In Partibus Infidelium I think it's not as strong. The band is still evolving in the same epic doom genre but compared to their previous album, it sounds a bit like a rehash and I found it boring. I went back to their debut and this confirmed my suspicion, it's simply not as good. Perhaps I'm just bored by epic doom but I can only feel that it's been done to death. The vocals are pretty good  and there's some cool high pitched NWOBHMish vocals in the last epic track named ''Militis Fidelis Deus'' (God the faithful soldier in Latin) it works on paper but damn most of the album has the same high vocals Messiah Marcolin became famous for and it got a bit stale, it's like ''okay, we get it, you have a good range and shit, can you be more interesting ? ''

"I'm gonna cook you for supper!"
''Damn infidels drawing nearer † Host of ghosts we became † Our souls are in Lord’s hands''

Yep, my fear was totally confirmed when I heard this song, it sounds way too preachy for my taste. The ''hallelujahs'' sung in the background literally killed my boner for the riffs. It's all about context you would say and it's true, Even if the lyrics are about the Crusades, a subject I enjoy a lot, it just wasn't dark and evil enough for me to enjoy ! Not enough bloodshed in the streets of Jerusalem, not enough nails on the cross of Jesus Christ. Man, this song is also interminable, it's 12 mins and it feels like a Sabazius song, especially the end. I'd like to hear some really satanic doom metal for a change, I'm sure the devil would be proud to hear the slow lamentations and the epic music. Nevertheless, the monk chanting at the start of the song is quite cool and the song is very epic.

Personal preferences aside, I feel that Doominicanes is a very safe record and it's really not bringing anything new to the genre. The band themselves said ''No keyboards, triggers, samples or other slick and fancy studio tricks, expect DOOM METAL!'' and yes, that's the case, unfortunately the ability to write awesome authentic doom songs is lacking. As I heard the new Procession, I noticed that the ability of writing epic AND varied songs is present in the music of the Chilean horde but not in Evangelist's songwriting. 

I wasn't expecting techno influences obviously but the songwriting is simply not good eno
ugh for me. It's not as shining as the debut. While the riffs are often good, the rhythm section just doesn't do shit, it's like if the facade of a farm had a nice red paint and the rest of the building was white, I feel like throwing some eggs on it to add some colors  It's not vibrating or interesting enough during the slow moments (that's something a band like Reverend Bizarre understood and did well, the bass and drums were high in the mix and proficient to keep most of the listeners interested during their 30 minutes songs). I wanted more and I wasn't satisfied, the bass is too quiet and the drums are too simple. The band is composed of anonymous members, so perhaps it's a solo project...That's not an excuse! I want some groove, ladies!

Okay, it's definitely not a bad album and if you're already sold by the genre and worship at the altar of Candlemass then what I'm saying doesn't matter much. Maybe my expectations were too high after the high score I gave to their debut but I'm simply disappointed by the lack of imagination and evolution from these anonymous musicians. The riffs are good and the solos can be enjoyable (check out ''Deadspeak'', my favorite song of the album) but something is lacking. And it's not the passion, it's clearly there, they like epic stuff and it's obvious throughout the album. There's some albums you really want to enjoy but it simply doesn't work, just like you can't hardly walk a cat with a leash or enjoy non-alcoholic beer.

The album needs faster moments along with the 5 long mid paced songs, 2 or 3 faster tracks would had been very nice. Without tempo changes, the album feels like a huge monotone wall of epicness and it's too much to handle. These 44 minutes are too much considering their style of doom is sugary and somewhat whiny at times. It really can be tiring. The band is too centered on the quality of its vocals and should put more emphasis on the riffs and the flow of the songs than the actual lyrical content, it's too cluttered by high vocals all the damn time.and it drags a lot. I like epic doom but god, this was mundane.

Evangelist is still highly recommendable and quite unique for the Polish metal scene but their debut is vastly superior and has no fillers compared to their sophomore. Hopefully they'll get back on track with their next release. If you're a doom collector  get the album but there's better doom to check out in 2013, might I recommend Black Oath or the aforementioned Procession ?

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