Almost ten years into their career, Swedish Doomsters Anguis are back! And to celebrate this first decade, they will finally release their third full-length album via High Roller Records. ’Magna est vis Siugnah’ is not only the long-awaited follow-up to their 2014 masterpiece ’Mountain’, but also a kind of a ”back to the roots” perspective, a look back in time, not letting the ultimate goal be forgotten. As vocalist J.Dee pointed it out: ”A while back I thought I lost it, lost her. But I found the source again. (...)The core of creativity, and that is the true meaning of ’Magna est vis Siugnah’.” Hailing from the city of Uppsala, similarities with a band like In Solitude might seem obvious to some writers and critics, but comparing J.Dees vocals to those of Pelle Åhman will not do either of them any justice. Even though there is a mutual respect between Anguish and other local acts, they have always seem themselves as outcasts, the misfit band in the Uppsala scene, ”not playing doom as you are supposed to, not enough down tempo or a singer who sings as a crow who got shit on by a horse. But as far as our personal take upon the scene, we have always dwelled in the forest, rehearsed in old barns and those kind of locations. Far from the glimmering city lights. We still are a part of Uppsala. Uppsala might not hear us, but we hear and see everything.”
Looking back on the time since the band was founded, it feels very natural to come up with a new record at this very point. Time also takes its toll and line-up changes and creative draughts could not have been fully avoided. But after a few years of modelling new songs, new ideas and a new lyrical scenery came about and Anguish reformed into a four-piece.
It was in the gloomy winter of 2007 that guitarist David and his friend Jacob were discussing the greatness of bands such as Candlemass and Trouble, leading to the decision of forming a band. Vocalist J.Dee was much into Death Metal at that time, but always wanted to play Doom and was invited to join Anguish which consisted of David and Martin on guitars, Jacob on bass and Wille on drums. They recorded a now derelict version of the ’Dawn Of Doom’ demo, but it wasn’t before long that all members drifted away into the ether except for David and J.Dee. They still had a drive, they had ” awoken something that was not easily shunned away, it stirred in the abyss(...).” With new members Christoffer and Rasmus (of Acolytes of Moros) and Anton, an old friend of the band, they recorded a second version of ’Dawn Of Doom’. Furthermore the inspiration to solve the vocal situation came up, as J.Dee ” was no singer of the sorts”. The newly recorded demo was supposed to be released through Skeleton Plague, but was passed on to Matt of Dark Descent. ”There we lurked in the shadows until now. Right before we recorded ’Through the Archdemons Head’ Anton the First left the band. But Anton the Second took hold of the bass after the first album had been released. Just like a prophecy Anton the Second also left the band right before we stepped into the studio again, to record ’Mountain’. After Mountain fell into a gloomy pit, Christoffer left the band, but joined us live, since we had not filled the empty spot.” The songs for ’Magna Est Vis Siugnah’ were slowly taking shape, while they were still looking for a permanent replacement on guitars. There were some who showed an interest, but it was Linus who proved to be a perfect match. He had listened to all the releases and knew most of the earlier work by heart. And so their covenant became sealed. ”This is the point where we are right now. Almost ten years since we stood at that derelict mine, hidden in the heart of the Upplandic forest. By the blood we are bound.”
Even though the creation of ’Magna Est Vis Siugnah’ faced another change on guitars, most things have been done in the same way as on the previous album ’Mountain’. Anyhow the songs ’Requiscat in Pace’ and ’Elysian Fields of Fire’ are the joint venture of guitarist David, vocalist J.Dee and drummer Rasmus and turned out to be real killer tunes. And unlike the other two albums that have been recorded in D-tuning, ’Magna Est Vis Siugnah’ was recorded in C-tuning to give it a heavier and more bombastic sound. As far as influences are concerned, singer J.Dee agrees that Candlemass, Saint Vitus, Trouble are the obvious ones and that the song ’Black Messiah’ was the turning point when he decided to go into a harder direction with his vocals. ”Also Darkthrone has made a black mark upon us. Not to forget Celtic Frost, Mercyful Fate and also Mayhem. The list of influences can be made into a bible (...).”In the end any comparison is understandable for Anguish and it’s those bands they enjoy and want to sound like in their own way , regardless of any genre standards. Lyrically speaking ’Magna Est Vis Siugnah’ is also a step back, back to the roots. This was a necessity for the band since deity of chaos still is present. ”It has always been about her, and this time it is related to her return. Might be confusing, but for me it is as clear as clean water. It’s a collection of stories from a diverse timeline, with no beginning nor end. Still it is about Death and the life after, and about pain and anguish. Siugnah is showing the world that she will not let herself fade away. To find peace inside, you must get eternal - Life Eternal, Mayhem.”
The mastering of ’Magna Est Vis Siugnah’ was done by Patrick W. Engel (Candlemass, Pentagram and Trouble) at Temple of Disharmony in Bamberg, Germany. Recording and mixing was done by Johan Ericson at Dead Dog Farm Studio in Säffle, Sweden between May 18th and June 4th 2017. The guest guitar solo on ’Blessed Be the Beast’, played by Hasse (Third Storm, former Die Hard) was recorded by guitarist David in his barn in the forest outside of Uppsala. For the cover artwork of ’Magna Est Vis Siugnah’ the band got in touch with Czech artist Vojtěch Doubek at Moonroot art. Instead of any details on how they wanted it to be, the band provided him with the lyrics and the demo tracks and gave him a free hand. Vojta has been following Anguish since the 2012 debut "Through the Archdemon's Head" and so he knew their concepts. David recalls: ”One week after the first contact, we recived a scetch of a forest, with her head formed in the background of the tree branches, and her four daugthers in the foreground as glimmering light's. We liked his idea and told him to but it on canvas, with a lot of green paint. The result bacame excellent. And if that weren't enough, he also made our logo look like wood, which fitted perfect on the artwork.”
Additionally the band recently started working with Hell Frog Promotion to get some support with booking festival gigs, club gigs and maybe a tour. Two show have already been set in August and November of 2017 but to properly promote the new album, a tour shall be booked in 2018.
1. Blessed Be the Beast
2. Magna Est Vis Siugnah
3. Of the Once Ravenous
4. Requiescat in Pace
5. Elysian Fields of Fire
6. Our Daughters Banner
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