This soul-staining slab of nocturnal emission, is the work of two men, Ævangelist. If Omen Ex Simulacra was a grime-ridden piece of blackened death metal, Writhes in the Murk is an even darker beast that feeds upon the chaos it creates. Living up to it’s title, the songs flow from one another like the River Styx, and wailing and gnashing of teeth accompanies the guitar riffs as they writhe together. Often they sound like they are swallowing themselves, as if the notes were a snake eating it’s own tail. From a sonic perspective, the album borders on occult death metal with it’s cavernous ambiance. The mammoth chug of guitar often finds itself congealing into something akin to free-form jazz, as if it was written from one of John Zorn’s nightmares.
“Only the Grave” spills out of the opener with the grace of guts falling from a slaughtered pig. The vocals are so guttural they seem to come from a demon whispering out of the gurgle of a sewer drain. The album often carries the dissonance and ambiance of a black metal, yet the duo restrains themselves from haphazardly bursting into blast beats. The drumming seems to be performed by an octopus caught in a whirlpool leading to the abyss. It’s precision and command that holds together these sonic swathes, creepy enough to be unsettling if listened to it alone at night. If you really need to slap a label on this beautiful abomination, calling it free-form atmospheric death metal might come close to describing it. However, trying to confine it to a genre would fall along the lines of H.P. Lovecraft laying out a physical description of one of his “unspeakable horrors”. Only the imagination can speculate the amorphous nature of something so exquisitely hideous that could exist in the physical plane. Nor are the songs designed to adhere to convenient placement into one definable sound, much less genre. Sure, this is metal, but more of a nightmarish mockery of it. This is a statement of the twisted distortion of the darkness that smothers this album.
Writhes In the Murk is without a doubt one of the densest albums released so far this year. It indulges in noise and abstract heaviness without forsaking their chops. The instrumentation spirals into diabolic flurries that sound like a cross between Mr. Bungle and Deathspell Omega. The more black metal element slither along side the denser climate of death metal, but this project has now transcended both both genres. They reach out to harshness of every scope, even touching open an industrial abrasiveness. On the title track they utilize a sample of a girl talking which fades in and out of the din, almost taking the place of vocals, which are relegated to mutters and snarls out from the shadows. Chances are if you are reading this, you like your metal dark and unconventional. If that is the case, this could be the best album of the year that you miss out on if you don’t check them out.