"Ad Mortem Festinamus"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Thank God this EVANGELIST has nothing to do with Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland or any similar scam artist. No, this EVANGELIST preaches the words of epic doom metal and that is a sermon I am always eager to hear. This is described as an EP, but it's a fairly generous one, exceeding 35 minutes in length, which would qualify it as a full length in most people's book.

The band is indeed strongly, almost slavishly, devoted to the classic doom of CANDLEMASS, SOLITUDE AETURNUS and ATLANTEAN KODEX, with plenty of plodding, stately riffs, sorrowful twin guitar melodies and melodramatic vocals. And of course, lots of Latin words and reference to ancient myths and legends. The FORM of EVANGELIST is rigorously correct in every respect...but in actual EXECUTION and FEELING, I find there is something missing from this band. The material is simply not on the level of its inspirations, although it is absolutely epic doom metal. Part of the problem is the vocalist, who tries desperately for a deep, dramatic tone, but who instead seems overwrought and lacking the richness of a Messiah Marcolin or Robert Lowe. It's not terrible, it just And the tracks themselves seem lacking a certain majesty that makes CANDLEMASS so mighty. It's hard to put a finger on but it's noticeable.

The first five tracks trudge along dolefully enough and their length is about right; nothing exceeds 7 and a half minutes. They include a cover of MANILLA ROAD's "Mystification", which also puts them on my good side, but even the cover is lacking. Wholly acoustic, there isn't even an electric solo in this one. Something meatier was required.

I suspect there are fans of the esoteric art of epic doom metal who will enjoy EVANGELIST, but to me, they are not next level doom by any stretch.