Imprecation - Official Website

Theurgia Goetia Summa

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Emperor Of The Infernal Spirits
2. The Throne Is Lost
3. Nocturnal Feast Of The Luciferians
4. The Awakening Of Majestic Darkness
5. Vomit Floods Of Christian Remains
6. As Blasphemy Reigns
7. Shrouded In Gore
8. Of The Underworld
9. Poltergeist Fathomed

Review by Carl on March 9, 2024.

It's pretty easy of mistaking this one for a black metal release. There are pentagrams and devils all through the artwork and layout, we have a reversed cross in the logo, it has a parody of the last supper on the front cover, and in the booklet we get a picture of one of the members in a field at night, complete with corpse paint and a sword, doing the "By the power of Grayskull!" thing. The music tells us a different story, though. It's the saga of how Imprecation is actually a dark death metal band that fits in well with like-minded acts such as Vital Remains, Incantation, Acheron and Crucifier. Good story, by the way.

Imprecation presents their style in a way similar to that of Incantation. The tracks vary between fast blast beat driven aggression and crushingly heavy, doomed out slow passages. The swift sections have a bit of old Deranged to them, while at their most sluggish, the band brings to mind the earliest works of My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and Winter, but the names of Cianide, Mythic and Divine Eve came to mind as well. These utterly glacial moving parts work extremely well with the fast parts, with the remorseless heaviness complementing the raging speed in a most glorious way. Suitably immersed in a pool of down-tuned riffing and low growling vocals, these tracks manage to conjur up a dark and menacing atmosphere, something that is also greatly enhanced by the haunting flourishes of keyboard that sporadically pop up, like in "The Throne is Lost" and "Of the Underworld", for example. The fact that the execution of the music is somewhat rough around the edges in places does not take anything away from the music, but actually adds to the general atmosphere present. It's a highly effective blend of dark atmosphere, heaviness and aggression, that goes in smooth and easy.

Because this is a compilation of different recordings, the overall sound tends to differ throughout. Apart from the song "As Blasphemy Reigns", that comes tearing out of the speakers after the somewhat muffled sound from the EP tracks that preceded it, there are no overly dramatic differences between the different tracks. The production keeps it all natural and earthy, is devoid of any artificial trickery, and it's an approach that works very well for this kind of dark death metal. The instruments are pretty much balanced out well throughout, sometimes in one place better than the other, but never in a troublesome way. Despite the fact that this is a compilation of different recordings, that glorious early 90's underground spirit and dark atmosphere stays intact for the whole duration of this cd. So what more could one wish for?

This is a bangin' compilation that is highly recommended for all into dark and heavy death metal that combines heaviness and aggression with atmospheric touches. If you are curious to know what the roots of contemporary death metal acts like Fetid, Undergang and Phrenelith are, this is a very good place to start. And if you're into early 90's underground death metal, it would be a shame to give this compilation a pass.

Rating: 9 out of 10