Anguis Dei - Ad Portas Serpentium album review

Mystic nightmares from enigmatic Japanese cult’s new configuration

Cover art for Anguis Dei - Ad Portas Serpentium album

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The latest project from the supersecretive Japanese black metal collective Ordo A:.A:.A:.A:., Anguis Dei’s debut album serves as a soundtrack for “taking a dark journey into the malign realms of Satanik Magick,” as the mysterious musicians put it. Spearheaded by the shadowy sect’s ever-present and enigmatic leader Ur Èmdr Oervn, the fourtrack opus is bursting with bloodcurdling shrieks, blasphemous lyrics, shredding solos, strange chants and orchestral flourishes. Their veteran frontman puts in a commanding performance throughout and his varied and expressive vocals, particularly on the Hammer Horror-flavoured, face-melting Maythorns Over Uroboros, are spellbinding. The near-four-minute-long cinematic – and suitably chilling – piano instrumental Origin comes as a welcome curveball, firmly stating that this new band of old souls have plenty of tricks up their sleeves.