IMPRECATION "Satanae Tenebris Infinita"

MORGENGRAU "Extrinsic Pathway"

By Dr. Abner Mality

In Texas, they've always had a thing for death metal and the tradition continues with new releases from veterans Imprecation and newcomers Morgrengrau.

Imprecation know what it's all about. These guys have been hovering around the fringes of death metal stardom for 20 years or so and with "Satanae Tenebris Infinita", they are knocking down the church doors and preparing to raze God's house to the ground. This is grim and gritty oldschool death in pure and unrefined tradition. I mean, look at the there any cliche of blasphemy unused here? And the music lives up to the gruesome cover You might guess that Incantation is an influence and you wouldn't be wrong...plenty of slithering, doomy riffs and vomiting vocals to be found. But there's also a sizable influence from the other "I" band...Immolation. There's a kind of grandness and evil majesty to cuts like "Chapel of Rotten Flesh" and "Rancid Blood on Blackened Thorns" that Immolation is known for. Also, Imprecation uses eerie keyboard fills to add some atmosphere to the brooding brutality. In final analysis, "Satanae Tenebris Infinita" is one sick album that oldschool death fans can't pass up.

Faced with the unholy maelstrom of Imprecation, Austin's Morgengrau simply can't match up. This band has its heart in the right place, quoting influences like Asphyx and Pestilence, and "Exttrinsic Pathway" is not a bad album by any means, it just comes across as mildly enjoyable. Featuring some raw female vocals, this band proceeds in a mostly mid-paced fashion, which is not bad in and of itself, but the production is just not heavy and dark enough, especially compared with Imprecation. I quite enjoyed the title track, "Choking Grove" and "Chemosh Enlighten", but not to the point where I'm gonna be digging Morgengrau's album up in a couple of months in a paroxysm of delight. They need to intensify their approach to hang with the big dogs of death metal.

Blind God Records