Angerot – The Splendid Iniquity (2018) REVIEW

While South Dakota based old school death metal band Angerot make it very clear in their messaging that their music is in service to the great Satan of Swedish death metal on their debut ‘The Splendid Iniquity’, I’m not sure they’re giving themselves enough credit for their smart variation of the sound. That it never really dips into parody or full-blown fanboy-isms is a testament to successful influence and not rote imitation. At least not compared to the clinical imitations of the Stockholm/Sunlight Studios sound that occasionally suffocate death metal pipelines. ‘The Splendid Iniquity’ would have been a darker, heavier outlier of the scene were it dropped in 1994 and though it heartily bursts with the savagery of ‘Dark Recollections’ the entirety of the record feels closer to outsiders like Horrid or Fleshcrawl, as much as they could have hung with groups like Dismember and Interment.

The ‘Clandestine’ effect kicks in immediately but the dry-rotted slight rasp of the vocals is closer to those of early Intestine Baalism and perhaps Seance/Necrophobic with some extra layering. The slower portions of the album, such as “Deliver Us…”, definitely offer more than pure Swedeath worship. It is also worth mentioning that the guitar tone is fully there but they don’t go pure, blatant HM-2 raunch the same way groups like Entrails do. I’m not really looking to deconstruct why this isn’t pure ‘worship’ but you get the idea well enough. They’ve put their own stamp on the sound and it is the general approach/writing, not pure sonic imitation, that adds to the legacy of influence rather than steadfastly resembles it.

Though I consider myself pretty in tune with the works of LG Petrov across the board if I hadn’t read that he guested on “Rivers of Chaos” I would have assumed it was on “Under the Calm” which is more generally tuned towards Entombed‘s phrasing. Regardless, both tracks feature some of my favorite riffs on the album and I love the Afflicted-esque style of “They Wake at Dusk” afterwards. “From the Pit to the Apex” feature a contribution of shred from James Murphy himself, though it almost serves as a fade-out for the otherwise standout track. The biggest surprise of ‘The Splendid Iniquity’ was probably “Falia Diaboli (Alisin)” as it reminded me of Uncanny ‘Splendium for Nyktophobia’ when that album gets a bit keyboardy in the middle. I liked that riff more each time I took the record for a spin and the way they developed in through the song ends on a really compelling almost melodeath-like note.

Not a facsimile, but an inspired and cretinous death metal cudgel Angerot is just as capable of doing their own thing as they are at paying tribute to the old Swedish gods. They show up strong on their debut ‘The Splendid Iniquity’ though I think they bury some of their better guitar ideas with ye olde guitar sound at times. The title track and “Deliver Us…” capitalize on a dark ‘The Nocturnal Silence’ vibe, despite the mid-leaning pace, and ultimately were my favorite part of the album. Well worth a listen if you’re inclined towards early 90’s death metal post-Entombed/Carnage debuts as much as I am.

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Artist Angerot
Type Album
Released April 13, 2018
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Genres
Death Metal

Embrace the serpent. 3.5/5.0

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