Some blackened death metal from Poland? Yes, please!
Poland’s Devilish Impressions are a new band to have appeared on my radar. I’ve read some great reviews for this, their latest album called The I, released through Lifeforce Records. If you like bands like Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Immortal, Venom etc, then this band will certainly appeal. Let’s get stuck into their new album, The I. Warning: It’s heavy shit! \,,/
The title track serves as an ominous warning as to what exactly to expect from this formidable Polish blackened death metal machine. From the opening screech of feedback to the snarling vocal, the track hits very hard. There is a nice melody that creeps in around the halfway mark, showing the band isn’t all about crushing black metal brutality. A great start! The opening bass rumble of The Dove and the Serpent, makes you get the feeling that this will be an epic song. And, it certainly is. Once again it is punishingly heavy, but the subtle melodies and cinematic feel to it elevate the song to completely new level. Eosphoros is the album’s shortest track, clocking in at just under 5 minutes. It is also my favourite on the record. I love the chugging riff with the cleaner guitar in the background at the start and the verse riff is superb. There is a lot of melody in this song and it works superbly. Blood Imprinted Stigma has a tribal beat to the opening. It almost sounds like a call to arms. Some nice lead work at the start creates a brooding atmosphere, but, Soon enough, the song comes to life with another crunching guitar-driven verse and vocals that sound as if singer Quazarre is being tormented by the horned one himself! There are many layers to this track, fully justifying its 10-minute runtime.
I’ll give a quick nod on the production, which I think is excellent. It’s polished enough, yet still, retains some of the rawness of other black/death metal releases. The guitars have a great crunch to them, the vocals are clear and the rhythm section of Vraath and Icanaz sounds great, too.
This epic record continues with Ipse Philosophvs, Daemon, Devs Ept Omnia, which has a few more what would I call old-school death/black metal moments: I’m talking blast-beats, haunting signature guitar sounds and a truly pissed-off sounding vocal. I dig this one a lot. The penultimate song, Czern I Biel is probably my least favourite on the album. There is nothing particularly wrong with it, it just doesn’t seem to my ears to have as much originality as some of the other songs, and at six and a half minutes in length, I’d have preferred a shorter more up-tempo track at this stage.
The final track, The Fatal Messiah, is another epic clocking in at over nine minutes. The stand-alone guitar at the start is a precursor to a great song, one that is ambitious in length and one that brings together all of the standout parts from the previous tracks; a driving verse, a cool spoken word part, epic solos and great atmosphere. It is a fine way to finish the album.
The I is a great black/death metal album. Standout tracks for me is the title song, The I, Eosphoros and The Fatal Messiah. Production is very good, performances also are very good. Like all good albums, it needs a few listens for you to be able to fully appreciate the subtleties at work, but your patience will be rewarded. Songs are epic in both their scope and tone. There are great melodies hidden beneath the torrent of blast beats and guitar, these make a frequent and welcome appearance and help to keep The I from becoming just another derivative sounding metal album.
4/5 inverted crucifixes from the Grim Reader.
Founded by Quazarre in 2000, DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS merges the fierceness of traditional black and death metal with a subtle dose of ethereal melodies. Throughout the years the band found the right balance between those seemingly opposing elements and eventually created their own, distinctive sonic path. Critically acclaimed records, as well as intense touring all over the Old Continent along with some of the biggest names on the metal scene, made the band a promising force on the map of European extreme music.
Considered as one of Poland’s leading and most innovative modern black/death metal acts Devilish Impressions started in 2000 as a three-piece, with founding singer/guitarist Quazarre remaining the only member of the original line-up. The band began the process of shaping up its own spirit and self-consciousness marking its presence with the 45-minutes-long “Eritis sicut Deus; Verbum Diaboli Manet in Aeternum; Vox Vespertilio Act I – Moon Var Dies Irae”, self-released in 2002.
2005 saw them recording “Plurima Mortis Imago”, released in September 2006 on Conquer Records. Two months later the band joins forces with AETERNUS for the European ‘Ageless Void Tour 2006’. In April 2007 they landed a slot on MARDUK’s ‘Swords In The East’ Eastern European run.
In May 2007 the group enters Studio X for the recording session of their sophomore full-length “Diabolicanos – Act III: Armageddon”. While the record was being mastered by Andy Classen at Stage One Studio, Devilish Impressions appears at Red Alert Festival in the Crimea with VADER and SUFFOCATION. At the end of the year, the band sets off for the ‘Verbum Diaboli Tour 2007’, their first ever headlining run across the Eastern European countries.
The “Diabolicanos…” album, released in January 2008 again on Conquer Records, was widely praised in the international metal press and gave Devilish Impressions the opportunity to open for BEHEMOTH and SUICIDE SILENCE on ‘The Apostasy European Tour’, and then embark with DISMEMBER for the ‘UK, Ireland and Northern Ireland Tour’. Meanwhile, the group was invited for selected shows of ‘Wacken Road Show 2008’ with OVERKILL, TRISTANIA, SAMAEL and ENSLAVED on the bill.
In May 2008 “Diabolicanos…” comes out in Poland licensed to Empire Records followed by the band’s first time ever Polish invasion ‘Rebel Angels Tour Vol. 3’ along with HATE. Right after the tour, Devilish Impressions comes back to Ukraine for a special show with SATYRICON.
The summer of 2008 included the band’s appearance at Pro Rock Festival while co-headlining with RAGE and at Metal Heads Mission Festival with bands like MOONSPELL, GORGOROTH and SAMAEL to name but a few.
In the second half of 2010, Devilish Impressions enters few recording studios in order to produce “Simulacra”, their latest full-length up-to-date. Releasing the album in 2012 on several record labels: Lifeforce Records (Europe / North America), Icaros Records (Poland), MSR Productions (Russia / CIS countries), resulted also in signing the worldwide deal with The Flaming Arts Management and Booking Agency.
Nominated for a 2012 METAL STORM AWARD “Simulacra” was voted one of the BEST MELODIC BLACK METAL / METALGAZE ALBUM and gets very good press all over the world.
In support to the record, the group appears at a bunch of summer festivals, incl. Hard Rock Laager (with SAMAEL, MELECHESH), Carpathian Alliance (co-headlining with DARK FUNERAL, CARPATHIAN FOREST, TYR, ARKONA), Castle Party and Brutal East, followed by ‘Fear no Gods of The East Tour 2013’, a month-long headlining run across The Baltic States / Eastern European countries. After the tour, Devilish Impressions plays at Wave Gotik Treffen (with PARADISE LOST, LACRIMOSA) and at MetalFest Open Air Poland (with HELLOWEEN, ACCEPT, SODOM, DESTRUCTION, DOWN, SATYRICON).
During the Summer of 2013, the band re-enters Hertz Studio for the drums recording session of what is now known as “Adventvs” EP. Several months later, having the material mixed and mastered by Arkadiusz Malczewski at Sound Division Studio, the band decides to re-master their 2002 never-published-before demo “Eritis sicvt Devs” to eventually add it up to the new tracks portraying the band’s re-defined sonic path. Released on May 2014 “Adventvs” features over an hour of both the band’s new and old music – Experimental Black Death Metal at its best.
In support to its premiere, Devilish Impressions hits the road for a headliner tour across Poland.
Soon after the new tracks from “Adventvs” get the attention of a now-legendary Hammerheart Records. Thus they eventually come out as a 12’’ LP in February 2015.
A month later sees the emissaries of The Devil once again spread their message across their motherland as part of the tour along with CHRIST AGONY and BEHEADED.
On the 21st of May, the band will commence the recording session of their new, 4th full-length album, said to prove not only they’re still very open-minded but also dangerously unpredictable…