Review Summary: Satanae Tenebris Infinita is the kind of album that will appeal to all death metal listeners, and it’s got plenty of energy to boot.
Underground death metal heavy hitters, Imprecation, have had a rather unique career. Starting out in 1991, the band released an EP and a couple of demos, released a compilation of their discography and split in ’98, where many thought they’d be doomed for obscurity. Their compilation, Theurgia Goetia Summa
became a staple in the underground scene with its dusty blackened death metal stylings. Blending thick, chunky death metal riffs with black metal howls and death metal gutturals, breaking into fast blast beats and breaking down into slower, more crushing sections of sound, Imprecation really were a gem in the scene. In 2010, Imprecation returned with a new EP: Sigil of Lucifer
, which picked up where they left off. The production was fuzzy, it was all clipped to *** and it brought dark and devouring riffs and the classic Imprecation sound, and it felt like they hadn’t missed a beat since the 90s. 2012’s Jehovah Denied
demo would lead to be blueprint to what would become their debut album, more than twenty years after the fact: Satanae Tenebris Infinita
Satanae Tenebris Infinita
doesn’t ease the listener in. There’s no cheesy intro of synths or samples, there’s no weird noises or orchestrations that plague so many releases of the old school (and the revival of the old school), the band just breaks right into it. From the first second, deep, fast riffs and blasts barrage the listener, Dave Herrera’s vocals curdle their way into the listener’s ear and it’s already bringing about one of the best death metal experiences of 2013. It’s immediately noticeable that the album lacks a lot of its black metal influence compared to past works, most noticeably in the vocal department, but it’s not a massively grave loss. Imprecation remembers the most important thing: riffs. Whether they’re coming at you slow, fast or at a mid-paced groove, Satanae Tenebris Infinita
jams and it doesn’t hold up.
The production is clean, but doesn’t sacrifice the overall tone of the music for a swift plastic sheen and all the instruments make way to be heard. Long-time drummer Rubin Elizondo lays down some simple, effective grooves and some much more intense blasts to knock you back. Danny Hiller and ‘Moon’ intensify the music with their chainsaw guitars and riffs, and David Ranirez’s bass is muddy enough to drown in.
Throughout its forty-minute run time, the album does seem to lack a bit of diversity, and maybe it could
work more effectively if it were a tad shorter. The two-minute closer ‘Carrion Winds of Golgotha’ makes up for the lack of cheesy death metal intro and gives out sound bites of digging, rain and church organ synths to see the listener out, and, on the whole, isn’t really needed. But that’s not to say it’s a detriment to the album, because it isn’t, it’s kind of...there. From the classic headbanging intro ‘Angel of Salvation’s Doom’ (easily the album’s highlight track) to the evil opening riff of ‘Of the Black Earth’, Satanae Tenebris Infinita
is the kind of album that will appeal to all death metal listeners, and it’s got plenty of energy to boot.