IMPRECATION "Damnatio Ad Bestias"
Title: Damnatio Ad Bestias
Label: Dark Descent Records
Release date: March 22, 2019
Format reviewed: VBR mp3 promo
IMPRECATION has been around for almost three decades. Formed in Texas in 1991, the band released their underground acclaimed debut, “Satanae Tenebris Infinita”, in 2013, after previously releasing an array of demos, EPs and splits, in the years since their inception. The founding core of Ruben Elizondo (drums & keys) and Dave Herrera (vocals), co-opting new blood, recorded their sophomore full-length effort, “Damnatio Ad Bestias”, set to be released on March 22nd 2019, via Dark Descent Records.
“Damnatio Ad Bestias” is pure death metal. The very classic death metal style that recruited hordes of fans in the early 1990s. In the vein of Incantation (“Onward to Golgotha“), Deicide (S/T to “Legion“) and Morbid Angel (“Altars of Madness” to “Covenant“), IMPRECATION delivers one of the early 2019 death metal highlights. Not at all dated, as the above mentioned names (or titles) might imply, far from it. Although, capturing and maintaining most of that uniquely classic, early 90s, Floridian death metal sound of Morrisound Recording, the band draws a firm line between classic and modern, while remaining firmly anchored by their already established roots. In my opinion “Damnatio Ad Bestias” is a step forward, and in the right direction, from 2013’s “Satanae Tenebris Infinita”, as far as song-writing and production is concerned. It was interesting to find some rather subtle early Monstrosity like transitions, and even some slight affiliations to Massacre’s song structures. The eight tracks on the album range in tempo, spending a fair amount of time in mid tempo, well accented by the wall of guitar riffs, to unexpectedly bursts into blasts layered by high pitch guitar solos. The slower tempo works spectacularly well with the fluid doomy guitar parts, present on almost all of the songs on the album. The aggressive dual guitar structure does a great job in adding not only depth to the overall composition, but also offering a wider soundstage to the overall sound production. Unfortunately, the bass guitar is somewhat buried into the mix. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear the few, but well placed in the final mix, hellishly atmospheric interludes. Despite the low tonality, deep growl vocal delivery, the lyrics remain mostly intelligible. The satanic and occult themed lyrics remaining a strong and familiar trait. The sound production’s mastering makes perfect sense with its almost cassette (tape) like sounding quality, vis-à-vis the direction and brutality of the record. Listening from front to back and in the given sequence is necessary.
A satanic curse unleashed upon mankind, IMPRECATION’s “Damnatio Ad Bestias” will satisfy the blood thirst of both, older and younger generations of eternally tormented hellraisers and necromancers … leading them into damnation … deliverance, exorcism, or inquisition are utterly futile … be aware … Diabolically recommended. 8.5/10
Dark Descent Records
© 2019 by Emil Chiru