EVANGELIST (In Partibus Infidelium) CD

Poland had not yet come to my attention as a land of traditional Doom Metal. When you think about it, it is strange that there is not much more Doom (the epic style in particular), considering Poland has a strong catholic heritage as, for example, Italy where the country's religious impact on culture left its mark on some bands of the heavy music scene. Do you still remember the sacral atmosphere as I have said on certain reviews lately? Poland did not bring forth such music up till now. But today in 2011, things have changed. Evangelist are the first Doom Metal band from that country that which I can rely on. And not only does their name evoke that particular religious vibe, but also the vocals. In the quiter parts of the songs, they are sometimes mellow and solemn, thereby avoiding to reach new hights or deep growls. It is quite simply a good voice that fits well with the epic sound of the band.

The album starts with 'Children of Doom', but it is no cover track. Well, actually there are very little influences of Saint Vitus in the songs of Evangelist. Instead, the beginning of the song reminds me of Seamount's early recordings even when the band does not care much for Rock'N'Roll. These Polish guys seem to have a strong Heavy Metal background, which manifests itself in many of the riffs and some vocal melodies. 'Funeral Mounds' starts out as Doom in its purest form. But as the song develops they integrate a well-balanced dynamic shift between epic riffage and the quieter and sad melodic parts. Then the Metal comes back in 'Doommonger'. Sure, there is a lot of Doom in this song but like the following 'Ulterior Gods', there are a few riffs in both songs reminiscent of of Iron Maiden or Angel Witch. This results in a nice NWOBHM touch. Additionally, 'Ulterior Gods' has a few moments where the band sounds like 90's Power Metal just played slower. That also makes me think of Iced Earth's 'Dark Saga' album.

'Cthulhu Rising' has also a pretty stereotyped song title, but we don't want to be choosy here. The song is heading in the same direction as 'Ulterior Gods' as well as the last song, 'Confiteor'. But this song once again sees them return to the dynamic changes to which I have already referred. There are some balladesque moments in 'Confiteor' and due to the vocal range of the vocalist it is somewhat reminiscent of Iced Earth's hit 'Melancholia'. But it is no rip off at all. Instead, it astonishes you with a riff that also would suit Pentagram well. At the end of 'Confiteor' there is also a bit progressive rhythm work. As you can see, the Evangelists blend epic Doom Metal with a nice dose of Heavy/Power Metal and it's not wrong to put them somewhere in the intersection of Candlemass, Italian Epic Doom and dark Power Metal. And even if it's not the most original album, it's a very enjoyable release for Epic Doom fans. Furthermore I'd like to recommend 'In Partibus Infidelium' to the ordinary Metal head who has a weakness for the darker spectrum of sound. Although Evangelist are deeply rooted in Doom Metal, the music never gets too slow and there are also enough mid-tempo riffs which are best suited for headbanging.

(Thorsten Frahling)