As stated, Pulcha Morte’s goal as a band is to craft music built around three elements: weight, atmosphere, and feeling. These are the qualities that the band saw as rarities in the extreme music community, a point on which I would agree. On Divina Autem Et Aniles, the band (who call themselves ‘American doom/death’) achieve each of those things, although with varying degrees of success.
The album features some standout tracks, “Thrown To The Wolves” for example, teeming with a raw, aggressive edge and an animalistic temperament, and the band’s first single, “Soulstench,” which is a guttural thrust of savage doom metal. One need only hear the first explosive riffs on “Reflection Of A Drowning Sun” and the promise of weight feels ably satisfied. Is there feeling? “Black Ritual,” maybe my favorite single song on the album, is absolutely drenched in whatever corrosive woe and agony are muddling vocalist Jason Barron’s conflicted soul.
Judging by the band’s lofty standards, they have met the promise of weight and feeling. Where this feels, well, light, is in the atmosphere. Everything on this record comes forward with an air of strength and authority. Not a bad quality for purveyors of American death/doom. What Pulcha Morte missed, I think, are opportunities to bleed in the little nuances and instrumental flourishes to color in between their slashing black-lined guitars and bone-splintering percussion.
Listening to Divina Autem Et Aniles, I didn’t get a scene in my mind. Their sound wasn’t evocative of a place or a time quite as much as it’s resonant of hard feelings. Just on that merit, though, I would say this is among the better debut metal albums in some time. Divina Autem Et Aniles certainly won’t disappoint.