Thursday, April 25, 2013

... Hymns to the left hand path : IMPRECATION "Satanae Tenebris Infinita"

What else than IMPRECATION's long awaited debut could I have picked-up from my evergrowing list of albums to review -  after the last post which was a Live-report of WO FAT ???
Hahaha, you may wonder what those guys have in common... Well, maybe a taste for heavy sounds but most noticeably all those guys are Texans; Houston Death Metal vs Dallas Stoner Rock if you prefer !!! In any case, to my knowledge, the connection between both bands stops here !

For those who have a particular affection for US Death Metal of the early-mid 90's -like me, the name of IMPRECATION evokes certainly positive memories... To think about their "Siggil of Baphomet" Ep released on Dave Rotten's legendary Drowned productions and "Theurgia Goetia Summa" a CD compilation (of demos)  brings you back 20 years ago when the style was its peak and tons of great bands were flourishing everyday with obscure demo tapes.
For some reasons, including successive line-up changes, IMPRECATION didn't surf on the wave and remained a broken hope which splited up in 1998 in a relative anonimity... Like other bands from the same period, the guys reformed a few years ago with 3/5 of the original line-up, firmly focused on finally releasing an album to torn pieces apart !

And finally, here comes "Satanae Tenebris Infinita", due to be released on June 25th via Dark Descent Rds (responsible of a bunch of excellent releases with Krypts, Necrophile, Uncanny, Timeghoul, Mortuary Drape, etc...), a connoisseurs label who perfectly fit with the band's profile; add cover-art by Chris Moyen and all conditions are ultimately gathered to let this album assaulting the still active OSDM sphere.
This would be a bit unfair to say that IMPRECATION didn't deviate of an inch from their old material but logically the band stays true to its original approach and sound, maybe a bit more dynamic with not just typical US textures à la Incantation or Infester but more pronounced  European crushing heaviness à la Bolt Thrower Asphyx (can't help but thinking to Martin Van Drunen vocals in many occasions) Gorefest or some finnish  ripping acts too...

As you should expect it, the band adorns a great part of the songs with those heavy menacing slowed-down parts which the genre is also wellknown for;  infectious and skullcrushing, particularly in the (crucial) heart of the album from "Hosanna ex Inferis" to "Chapel of Rotting Flesh" (track 3 to 6),  enhanced by spooky keyboards, those doomier horrifying moments give way to or are preceded by  faster tempos filled with demonic intensity.
Save maybe the almost exclusively brutally blasting "From Beyond the Fiery Temples", there's a real care to find the ultimate balance between evil atmospheres, brutality and musicianship; nothing highly technical though but IMPRECATION songs contain so many morbidly catchy riffs that they almost instantaneously reveal themselves as classics and to tell you the truth I always digged this kind of raw morbid vocals who add a stenching texture to the overall.

The great production work  makes this cohesive and attractive especially for old fans who finally get here a professional product on all terms, not just old tape-stuff recorded in 12 hours and simply released on CD ! It's never too late to get such top-notch Death Metal, old school or not, the essential is that it's truly evil with no mechanical bullshit and if your still really into it, this is an album that must find its place between "Onward to Golgotha" and "The Rack" in your collection... Make your own opinion if this album is their (contemporary) equal or not but in my opinion it's the perfect link between those both influential masterpieces and a major release of the year in the genre !


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