November 29, 2013

Imprecation - Satanae Tenebris Infinita

Written by Steven Leslie

Cover art by Chris Moyen

Imprecation has finally released their debut full length 22 years after forming. The band released a couple of cherished demos and an EP before disbanding in 1998. Anyone interested in checking out the band’s early works can find them all collected on the compilation Theurgia Goetia Summa. The band announced their return in 2009, leaving underground death metal fans salivating until the release of Satanae Tenebris Infinita via Dark Descent in 2013.

Photo by Carmelo Española.

Their first full length follows the template laid out on their early works, but with a renewed sense of spite and vigor. The easiest reference point for what this sounds like would be Incantation, a band who needs no introduction to fans of blasphemous underground death metal. Eschewing the technical precision of modern day death metal in favor of a demented and sinister atmosphere, this album takes you back to the days when death metal was more about feel rather than who could play the fastest or most intricate riffs. And what a feeling it is.

Photo by Carmelo Española.

Roaring out of the gates with the unrelenting violence of "Blood Dominion", the aural bludgeoning hardly ever gives the listener any chance to breathe. While the tempo varies between speedy dirges to more mid pace stomps, each song hits like a 10-ton brick to the face. Those who like their death metal filled with killer riffs will find plenty to enjoy on this nine-track beast. There are also some tasty solos thrown in to spice things up. Never self indulgent, they fit perfectly into the songs and rarely ever overstay their welcome. The subtle use of synths also aid in creating a harrowingly sinister atmosphere. Death metal bands take note; this is how you use synths without degenerating into the realm of cheesy pompous self-indulgence. The vocals don’t offer that much variety, but Dave Herrara’s (also of black metal bands Bahimiron and Morbus 666) guttural emanations fit perfectly within the bands sonic framework. The production on this album is quite fitting. It is clean enough to make out each instrument without sacrificing any of Imprecation’s sinister atmosphere. Fans of sepulchral death metal rejoice because Imprecation has put out an album worthy of their hallowed legacy. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another 15 years until we hear from them again.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

1 comment:
  1. Based on the opener, this sounds like a gem I missed out on. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.