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Have You Heard the Good News? - 90%

FullMetalAttorney, July 19th, 2012

With the exception of one dude out in Ohio, everyone loves classic Candlemass. The Swedes were the first to adopt the distinct sound of epic doom: sparse, slow, heavy, depressing, and a little bit over-the-top. Their sound made them noticed. But the songwriting made them great. It was phenomenal, particularly on Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. "Solitude", if heard once, will stick with you until you die.

If a metal band is widely loved, then before long there will be countless imitators. And inevitably, many of those imitators will focus on the sound, forgetting the songwriting entirely. Evangelist have seen the current state of epic doom, in need of salvation. They are in partibus infidelium, in the place of the unfaithful. They're wearing suits, knocking at your door. They have a pamphlet, and want to talk to you about the Good News of the Church of Candlemass.

The mysterious Polish collective have the sound covered. It's like Candlemass, of course. But with modern technology and a stronger focus on a robust bass tone, it's even better than ever. The vocals are somewhat similar as well, although they're the thing that's most obviously distinct from the Swedish legends. This throat-music is beefier, and drops the excess vibrato--possibly making Evangelist more palatable to that guy.

More importantly, Evangelist have songwriting chops. Every song has a memorable riff. Every song has a catchy vocal melody. The tempos shift regularly. The drums are highly varied. The guitar plays the occasional dissonant chord. And the bass does its own interesting things, never tracking the guitar too closely so as to get lost.

My only complaint, in fact, is a distracting, trumpet-like sound in the chorus of "Cthulhu Rising". Other than that minor quibble, In Partibus Infidelium is fantastic.

The Verdict: It's salvation to the world of epic doom.

originally written for

Polish Epic Doom Gem - 88%

Metantoine, August 26th, 2011

This album is the first contribution from Poland to the new growing scene of Epic doom that I've discovered. And, I must say, this is an awesome contribution. In Partibus Infidelium is Evangelist's first album, but it doesn't lack in maturity, in fact I think everything that makes epic doom one of my favorite metal genre is present. Poland isn't really a country known for its doom scene, it's more praised for its death metal one with Vader and Behemoth. But, Evangelist takes the influence of Euro doom and isn't a copycat band.

First of all, the vocals are great, the singer (all the names of the members are unknown, so I'll mention them by their positions, obviously) reminds me of Albert Witchfinder of the famous Reverend Bizarre, mixed with a more traditional heavy metal feel à la Bruce Dickinson. Some Messiah influences thown in the mix too. This kind of high emotional, almost operatic vocals lines fits the music perfectly. Just listen to the awesome chorus in ''Funeral Mounds'' to get some shivers. The ghost of the classic Candlemass era lives perfectly in their sound. They follow the lyrical approach of the fantasy epic style, still in a more subtle way than flower metal. ''Cthulhu Rising'' would be a great hint from where they took their inspiration. Some Howard references are present too, Conan is a popular subject and the many heavy metal interpretations are always welcome. The unknown singer is the main thing that makes this album an hidden gem for me.

To back off the amazing vocals, we have a really nice wall of riffs. They are simple (it's still doom we're talking about, they're not played in a more traditional epic metal way like Solstice or Isen Torr). We also have nice clean and emotional solos to encounter, which are always cool to hear in doom. Riff wise, we could make a parallel to the Chilean doomsters Procession or to a less extent a less epic Atlantean Kodex. The instrumentation is quite typical from the epic doom scene, not very innovative, but it's done well, with passion. The riffs are heavy as hell, just like The Gates of Slumber. It is dark, serious and at only six songs and a little more than forty minutes, the album isn't repetitive. The feel is somewhat mid paced and when the last song ''Confiteor'' ends suddenly, you're up wanting more.

So, if you like the current traditional doom scene, you'll dig Evangelist for sure. They're maybe a safe band for their genre. But they're doing everything correctly and for a first record, they deserve all the credit I can give them. Doom album of 2011 for me, but I'm still waiting for the new The Wounded Kings, so we'll see.