Anguis Dei - Ad Portas Serpentium
Svart Records
Symphonic Black Metal

Release year: 0
Svart Records
Reviewed by Alex

Japanese Anguis Dei (with an Italian drummer) are calling themselves Satanik Hellharmonik Darkestra and are issuing a debut EP Ad Portas Serpentium on respected Finnish Svart label. Can’t get any more international than this, but are we to take their gothic tinged symphonic black metal seriously?

The answer to the question above depends whether you consider this style pure cheese or feel the dark church moments in Angela Krudeliis Ambitiosa Nokturniis can very well serve as a soundtrack for Pacino/Keanu Reeves excellent Devil’s Advocate movie. Anguis Dei don’t quite overdo it with dramatic moments and generally stick to the basics. The Lionel has riffs of barreling freight train with melodic blizzard swirling above. Mad voice, crazy lead, chaos pretty much reigns on The Lionel, slows down for a measured double bass moment, with that everlasting chaos to be reborn again. Listening to prominent, but well integrated synth, swirling above the guitars, to demonic growls/vampiric shrieks of Maythorns over Uroboros and Angela Krudeliis Ambitiosa Nokturniis, their melodic wall of sound and broad gliding leads, I am constantly picturing Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir, so originality of Anguis Deiapproach is what constantly held me back on Ad Portas Serpentium.

Phantasmagorical dark piano piece Origin then is the ultimate riddle whether it comes from a diseased mind, or a mind of a poser. Thinking, in the end, that theatrics is what Anguis Deiwere mostly after, I’d still think this approach has a right to exist. Just a month ago I was at a party where people, less versed in underground metal, started playing videos of their favorite bands, and Cradle of Filth was pretty prominently featured. It obviously pays to slide closer to the mainstream and more popular and knows, so Anguis Dei trends that way.

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