Released: 2017, Svart Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Japan’s Anguis Dei bring us their debut EP ‘At Portas Serpentium’, and I must say I did approach this one with just a little trepidation. Anything taken on by the Japanese can either be utterly ridiculous to our more refined sensibilities, or completely over the top. They don’t do things by halves, and luckily enough for us this one may lean towards the extreme but does so in a brilliant manner well befitting of the whole Black Metal spectrum.
Now that we have established that they are indeed Black Metal, we can also safely say that they possess all of the ingredients required to fulfill said musical genre, from the vocals of an angry demon spewing forth venomous hatred, the tremolo riffing, blast beats and so on, Anguis Dei have done their homework very well. The added bonus these fine purveyors of filth bring to the table is their flair for the orchestral.
Soaring Melodies flow smoothly over some fantastic pieces of orchestral pomp, and instead of sounding pushed or like too much it all works rather well to expand the scope of their music. That is not to say that the whole EP is some sort of Wagnerian waffle, just that when they do slot the bigger than Texas stuff in there it fits to perfection.
The instrumental “Origin” for example is simply a masterpiece. Tinkling Piano soothing what ails you, yet the nagging feeling that something horrid this way comes is being built slowly, ever slowly. Nothing does, but the suspenseful foreboding mood created is delightful.
Some of the riffing on this album is also worthy of a mention, at times blistering with an almost Thrash like urgency, it keeps the whole thing belting along nicely while the demon vents his rage in the background, and kudos to the rest of the guys for a superb musical effort. Anguis Dei are one to keep an ear on, and at four songs long, this was just a glimpse into their capabilities I am sure.
One could be forgiven for thinking our friends here have come straight from a cold northern winter into our lives, not the land of the rising sun, but if this is just a glimpse, then they will be rising far beyond all expectations very soon. A full length is a must. Brilliant.
Review by Andrew Cook.