Imprecation are by no means newcomers to the underground Death Metal scene. In fact, they’re the exact opposite. With their first demo “Ceremony of the Nine Angles” seeing a release in 1992 they helped pioneer the genre alongside earlier bands like Incantation, Deicide, Morbid Angel, Entombed and various other bands. Imprecation went on to record two more demos, “Sigil of Baphomet” in 1994 and a promo that followed in August of that same year. Eventually they released a compilation containing all three demos with artwork being provided by none other than French artist Christopher Moyen.
In 1998 Imprecation went on hiatus and several of their members went on to play in various other Texas based bands like Blaspherian, Adumus and Bahimiron. In 2009 Imprecation made their return to the scene by way of a live performance in Houston, Texas to promote their first release in nearly two decades. The 7″ entitled “Sigil of Lucifer” was finally released and was followed by a line-up change and the release of “Jehova Denied” which featured four demo recordings of songs that would be featured on their long awaited debut full-length “Satanae Tenebris Infinita.”
Now with this release finally upon us, emerging from the darkest corners of hell itself, Imprecation has provided one of the best releases of 2013. I have no doubt that the old schoolers who were around to see Imprecation back when they started have the highest expectations. I can say with one-hundred percent certainty that this album will shatter everyone’s expectations regardless of when you were first exposed to the band’s material. The opening track, “Blood Dominion” doesn’t waste time building up to any epic riffs or climactic drum beat. Instead it does exactly what Imprecation songs do, it switches to kill mode. Ruben’s drums shake even the holiest of sanctuaries. Archfiend and Moon’s guitar and bass playing is sharp enough to lacerate the wings from angels. Those that heard the earlier Imprecation material live or on record can attest to the vocal power of Dave Herrera as well. Twenty years later he still possesses the ability to verbally manipulate the legions of hades. This record feels like legitimate old school Death Metal. Normally I would try to limit myself from throwing that term around at the risk of it sounding too cliché. Obviously in the case of Imprecation it’s simply the only overall description that fits. As I said before, Imprecation were pioneers of the genre in the early 90s. This album showcases everything that the band is capable of and represents the blood, sweat and sacrifice that they have put into the band since day one.
Imprecation’s trademark keyboards are back as well. While keyboards are a usually either a hit or miss for most people I’ve always felt that in the case of Imprecation they manage to construct a very menacing and ancient atmosphere. It’s usually hard to get them to coincide well with Black and Death metal but the band has always done it well and “Satanae Tenebris Infinita” is no exception. This of course could be largely due to the fact that this is a more polished recording than anything the band has ever done before. I don’t mean this in a bad way. The mastering on this album is perfect, everything seems to be equally mixed and the overall length of the album is just right (around 40 minutes). Imprecation is some of the most traditional sounding Death Metal around. Those seeking overly technical riffs and experimentation should go ahead and pass this up.
This is a monumental release that deserves nothing but the highest praise. I can’t think of any real downside to having this in my collection. Then again I have almost every Imprecation release in my collection. Imprecation has aged very well. This can be seen not just in the music itself but in the songwriting as well. The lyrical themes seem to have matured quite a bit as well. Most bands seem to get comfortable with their own sound until they slowly lose the ability to effectively employ it live and/or in the studio. Imprecation is still a solid act all around and has made no compromises with this release. Their sound is just as dirty, crushing, and unapologetic as it was twenty years ago. If you’re a fan of Entombed’s “Left Hand Path” or Morbid Angel’s “Altars of Madness” then this album is essential!