2020’s The Divine Apostate is an album that I initially slept on. As in all things, I should have listened to Josh from the start, but I was a little slow on the uptake when it came to Angerot. However, once I tried their branded coffee on a complete whim (and you should too, as noted here), I quickly moved on to their music and was suitably impressed. We’ve made no bones about our fervor for The Profound Recreant, but it should be noted all the same that this has the potential to blow even our high expectations right out of the water.
Angerot have undergone a fair amount of stylistic shifts in their short career, but their sound has always had a potency rooted in their classic Swedish death metal sound. The Divine Apostate saw a lot more blackening added to the recipe, and The Profound Recreant definitely plays that up, but the Sioux Falls-based quartet has always had solid foundations in death metal, specifically the grinding, churning sound of the Swedish master. And what, you may ask, is the secret to capturing that sound? What is the “Michael Jordan’s Secret Stuff” that gives bands like Bloodbath, Entombed and, yes, Angerot their signature attack? If you know, you know, and if you don’t, it’s the Boss HM-2, the most iconic and meme-worthy distortion pedal under the sun. Such is the nature of this beast that the classic sound of so many bands is wrapped up in its unique buzzsaw sound profile, but Angerot might have taken HM-2 worship to new, borderline heretical places by working with Harvey Audio to create their own signature HM-2 clone, appropriately called the “Chainsaw.” The Profound Recreant certainly puts this to good use, but on their third full-length, Angerot also tap into the wide and deep pool of friends they have managed to make in their short tenure. There are some HUGE names on this one, from guest guitar spots by legends like Jack Owen, Sammy Duet and Andy LaRocque to guest vocal spots by Simon Olsen of Baest and the inimitable Steve Tucker. To be able to have the literal pinnacle of the metal world backing you up on only your third release speaks volumes to both the waves that Angerot have made and how good of a release The Profound Recreant is.
The name of the game with Angerot has always been consistency, and on The Profound Recreant, the quartet have never been tighter and more focused. Every release has seen them refine their sound and play with proportions, but it has always been in service of something and never change for its own sake. The Profound Recreant is the culmination of their work and I believe this is the most authentic they have ever sounded. I would say that it’s obvious that the riffs are the star of the show, but maybe it isn’t: any band with the classic HM-2 sound should be able to churn out a good riff, but overall it seems like this philosophy might be getting muddied down. Not so, here: beefy, hefty and skull-punishing riffs make up the backbone of every interesting twist that Angerot throws in. If you need convincing, check out the lead single “They Take Up Serpents” or “Grand Feast ov the Flesh” (featuring a righteously tasty guest solo from the inimitable Andy LaRocque), which might be my favorite track on the album. There are no holds barred here at all; from start to finish, The Profound Recreant only has the aim to pummel your face into a bloody pulp, and it succeeds at that in spades, but it’s the attention to detail and the little things that help push this release from good to great.
Everything about The Profound Recreant comes together in a package that is greater than the sum of its parts. Yes, the chainsaw guitars are on full display, and the songs are soaked in evil, brutal blasphemy, but there is also care and forethought put into making these songs as great as they can be, and that is what sets Angerot above the level of a lot of their peers. This is a band more people should be talking about. Also, go buy their coffee because it’s delicious.
The Profound Recreant will be available March 24 on Redefining Darkness Records. For more information on Angerot, visit their Facebook page.