Twenty plus years after forming, Texas death metallers Imprecation finally release their debut full-length album, a brutal and predatory leviathan of an album. Cited as one of the more influential inspirations of numerous death metal bands today, Imprecation released a couple of acclaimed demos and an EP in the early nineties which was followed by a compilation of material in 1995 titled Theurgia Goetia Summa on Repulse Records. After this period the band went on a hiatus until returning in 2009 to continue the blackened ravaging they first unleashed two decades ago. Now Satanae Tenebris Infinita comes forth as an imposing and impressive assault on the passions.
Founded by Ruben Elizondo and guitarist Phil Westmoreland, the band has been through many line-ups in both parts of their existence, with the latest of Elizondo (drums, keyboards), Dave Herrera (vocals), Danny Hiller (guitar), Milton Luna (guitar), and David Ramirez (bass) making an intense and powerful declaration on the new album. Released via Dark Descent Records, Satanae Tenebris Infinita has its heart and intent solidly in the origins of the genre and carries on in many ways where the first era of the band left off. It is a natural evolution from those first years, a natural continuation and a release which brings a wealth of satisfaction with its blend of rapacious crawling shadows and climatic thrusts of hungry energy and invention. There are little surprises on the album but then again Imprecation only expands upon and involves the crucial and potent essences of previous confrontations. Wrapped in the cover art of Chris Moyen, it is a release sure to find real appetite in fans of the purest origins of death metal.
Blood Dominion savages the ear from its opening seconds, riffs chewing with intent and drums barracking the ear with unbridled urgency. It is merely the softening up though as the track shifts up a few gears and unleashes a tsunami of ravenous riffs spurned on by a malevolent groove and destructive rhythms. With keys seducing within the now slightly restrained confrontation a compelling variation marks the continual and pleasing diversity to the stance of the song, intrigue is lit and though it is fair to say things are not exactly ground breaking predictability has no whisper within the tempest.
The following From Beyond the Fiery Temples and Hosanna Ex Inferis back up the strong start with their individual satanic appeals, the first a lumbering rapacious bestial encounter which paces around and eyes up its victim before developing an appealing canter to its riveting temptation and the second through its doom laded atmospheric crawling over senses and thoughts. Thoughts of bands like Incantation and Entombed rear their heads as the tracks provoke and incite emotions and shadows with their distinct and oppressive breaths and ambiences which emphasises the fact the album is coaxing creativity from well-worn seeds whilst breeding strong pleasure and dawning passion for its accomplished body.
The contagious swagger of Angel of Salvation’s Doom makes for a major highlight on the release, the track a blaze of rhythmic and riff driven rabidity which secures the passions with its open infectiousness around a sonic squall which singes the senses and an evocative key sculpted melodic persuasion. Further lit by flames of impressive guitar colouring and rasping guttural vocals, aspects forging a solid attraction across the whole of the album, the track sets a new plateau for the release which is impressively equalled by the lumbering giant The Coils of Eden, a muscle bound slab of maliciousness prone to scintillating invention and climatic explosions of energy and spite and the exceptional Rancid Blood on Blackened Thorns. This song is a primal maelstrom of psychotic rhythmic incitement, ravenous vocals, and consuming riffs which wear away the top layer of the senses for the guitars to scorch their sonic enterprise upon. It is a breath-taking corrosion which exhausts and invigorates air and emotions.
As the closing orchestral breathing instrumental Carrion Winds of Golgotha makes a final wrapping atmospheric narrative, Satanae Tenebris Infinita stands as an impressive and captivating release, and though it does not send the passions into a fire of excitement it makes a more than satisfying companion whilst stating Imprecation as a returning potent force in death metal.
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