Svart Records, 24.11.17 Anguis Dei is a Japanese symphonic black metal band that was started just a few years ago.
Last year, the band released a demo with two songs, both of which were forwarded to this four-track EP with just over 20 minutes playing time.
Two of the band's members belong in somewhat more familiar (or so I have an impression of) Juno Bloodlust, while the band's vocalist, the man with the mellifluous name Fr. U.:È.:Œ.:, also has three other bands that also begin with the letter A. These four bands allegedly form a kind of “AAAA collective”. Seriously?!?
The musical achievements of this band have a vague air of a novice band, but they don't appear halfway as awkward as the mere thought of said collective. The first two songs are derived from the demo Ad Portas. These have high pace and a lavish chiming orchestra that makes me think of everything from Arcturus and Dimmu Borgir to Limbonic Art and Obsidian Gate. The melody lines might not be quite as well-chosen, and the structures not quite as clever, but Anguis Dei has crafted a solid starting point. That Fr. U.:È.:Œ.: gives me some associations to Cradle of Filth, is something I can live with.
The third suite is a sonata composed for grand piano. Origin might not sound quite as subtly and intellectually parodic as Dødheimsgard's Wrapped in Plastic, but it does have some of the same cleverness in combination with a sensation of ingeniously concealed recognisability. Finally, The Lionel continues in the footsteps left by the first songs.
All in all, I'd say this is a good and promising start. Thus, it'll be exciting to see what the future brings from the band when they in due time present their forthcoming debut album Angeist.
Ván Records, 24.11.17
The two bands I I and Lihhamon both come from Leipzig in Germany, and they both play intense and frenetic extreme metal with elements of death and black forged in a sharp-edged alloy.
When the two thugs collide and deliver a dose of collective brutality, the result is half an hour of sonic abuse, unfit for anyone with weak heart or impaired mental capacity.
This is presented under the title Miasmal Coronation.
You've been warned.
I I, which stands for Infernal Invocation, go first. The first minute of their 17-minute ear torture may appear somewhat symphonic, but what follows has both legs safely planted in newly cast concrete, while cacophonous noise resounds between brick walls. After two tunes characterized by chaotic, monotonous warfare that's getting on the nerves, Miasmal Execration eventually open for a bit of atmosphere. The second half of the song appeals well before the shorter song Vidargängr ends with even more claustrophobic moods.
Fuck knows why this song has the same name as one of the other bands* of one of the band's four members, though.
Where I I only has an EP under the belt, Lihhamon has an album and a demo. The Trio's debut, Doctrine (2016), was recently re-released by Nuclear War Now! Productions. However, it sounded uninteresting with its monotonous and staccato rhythmic and cacophonous appearance. The hardly fifteen minutes we're exposed to here, sounds a notch better, but the same words are unfortunately descriptive of these three songs as well. The rhythm is a bit varied, though, and the runaway pace out of hell is sure to earn them a speeding ticket. Something that can actually be a little bit fun. All the way at the very end, we also come across a drop of moods before the lads sonic terror finally ebbs out.
All in all, the depth of this split is shallow as a puddle. Despite fast, brutal rawness, this all seems to me to be quite mediocre. It's listenable, but unnecessary and redundant all the same.