Evangelist - Ad Mortem Festinamus
Nine Records
Epic Melodic Doom
6 songs (36'16")
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Alex

Listening to and reviewing Polish Evangelist Deus Vult last year (which was a year later after the album was released) was a revelation to me in the field of epic melodic doom. To the point that I still cannot make up my mind whether I like Deus Vult more than Church of Bones, 2019 release by Monasterium, the more famous Polish doom band which also happens to host Evangelist anonymous members. (It can actually be debated whether Monasterium or Evangelist are more known, since the latter is a longer existing unit, but being anonymous makes they seem more obscure.)

So the year is now 2020 and Evangelist are out with another release with another Latin title. Ad Mortem Festinamus is technically an EP, and half of its tracks actually have been written during the Deus Vult session, but were somehow left out then. Not that Deus Vult was an overwhelmingly long album, but doing it this way allows for more frequent Evangelist installments.

Old tracks or newly composed ones, there is no change to Evangelist theme or style. We are again presented with the issues of knighthood/medieval ages (Perceval), history (Towards the End), Christianity (Puritan) or mysticism (Pale Lady of Mercy). Musically Evangelist continues to fit on the spectrum somewhere between epic doom and epic heavy metal, somewhere between Candlemass and Grand Magus, but closer to the former. Deliberate in their delivery and stately in their disposition, equipped with humongous theatrical vocals, Ad Mortem Festinamus is not very different from Deus Vult in spirit, but is a little cleaner sounding, almost too polished, slightly diminishing the rustic feel I loved so much on the predecessor. Just like before, Evangelist likes to keep it steady and reserved with the riffs through the verse and simply explode things out with a melodic and an unrivaled vocal hook through the chorus (Perceval, Puritan, Pale Lady of Mercy). From arduous to rousing, with flourishing solos, these songs on one hand take their time to develop, but at the same time attract the listener with their approachable immediacy. Without orchestra, this is symphonic, because it is so classy, and you will have a tough time purging those hooks out of your head. Blending Egyptian with medieval on Anubis (On the Onyx Throne of Death), or pushing somewhat into a tragic sounding territory (Towards the End) are slightly novel faucets for Evangelist, and they exercise them well.

Covering Manilla Road on Mystification with an interesting all-acoustic choice could not have been more appropriate for Evangelist, as Manilla Road is obviously an influence as well, and doing it 2 years after Mark Shelton passing keeps the flame alive. An EP in name, but a full-length album in terms of quality Ad Mortem Festinamus absolutely doesn’t disappoint and should be a hit with the band’s faithful.

Killing Songs :
Perceval, Puritan, Pale Lady of Mercy
Alex quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Evangelist that we have reviewed:
Evangelist - Deus Vult reviewed by Alex and quoted 87 / 100
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