During the embryonic stages of death metal in the late 80’s and early 1990’s. This sub-genre of heavy metal music became vastly accepted by many fans from around the world. Bands such as Death, Possessed, Morbid Angel, Obituary, and Deicide were the first creators and the developers of this extreme underground music. In 1990 Florida became the home of death metal bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Nocturnus, Malevolent Creation and many more. The above mentioned bands were known as Floridian death metal acts who have shaped and laid the foundations of death metal music.
Along with Floridian death metal bands, New York based groups also generated some of the leading bands like Incantation, Immolation, Suffocation and more. The early period of 1990’s also brought some other bands from Texas such us Imprecation who now celebrates almost three decades since their formation. Dark Descent Records present to us the second album of this U.S. old school death metal band. Damnatio Ad Bestias shows a better effort in song-wring and music if you one would compare it to their first album Satanae Tenebris Infinita. Damnatio Ad Bestias possesses the rawest vibe of early 90’s, the distinctive sound of the primordial death metal style is present here on a larger scale.
Damnatio Ad Bestias is veined in the early classic style of bands such as Morpheus Descends, and Incantation. If you have followed Imprecation since the beginning you will come to full understanding of their actual sound. In addition Damnatio Ad Bestias embodies the classic trademarks of death metal from the fast drumming to the demonic low guttural growls while the dual guitars creates this sense of morbidity. With hellish riffs that acts as a vital force of this demonic music making this album sound very evil.
Soon as the track The Temple of the Foul Spirit begins with the churning riffs, it creates this dark atmosphere and the drumming takes possession of the song. With demonic guttural growls and slow doom mood that makes a great opening for the album. The tumult factor stirs the track to many tempo changes, as the new tracks are focused mostly on mid-range.
Dave Herrera‘s vocals add lot of personality to the songs, the second track Morbid Crucifixion grinds some fast drumming, the guitar is tuned down and somehow the tension grows intense by the solos and the swirling riffs. The old school sound is exercised through the bludgeoning drums, but the band also uses the keyboards to make the tracks sound more appealing. The cavernous growls and the dark feel spreads like plague, if you listen to the third track Baptized in Satan’s Blood you will sense the direct influence to Morbid Angel the riffing here are brutal and the shows how the band became so objective.
For more sound variation Damnatio Ad Bestias has it all, except for the melodies which are stripped and reduced. There is a lot of brutality in the music, speaking of iteration, the riffing department takes up the whole process and as I mentioned the use of synth adds the diabolical feel which are also mixed with horror. I find tracks like Beasts of Infernal Void represents an acute songwriting, the effect of tremolo picking and double bass including the snare gives this album an old school feel.
Tonality wise the guitars are arranged with thrilling musical structure, with fast solos and capturing moments of the rhythm guitar. The eponymous begins with dark keyboards as if the whole theme is transient and just when the sharp tremolos steers with heavy crushing riffs. The rattling drum snare shifts the tempo to fast moments, the unstoppable blast beats makes this song very interesting with the low cavernous growls.
There is so much progression in overall sound quality giving this album an obscure and ominous feel. Dagger, Thurible, Altar of Death and The Shepherd and the Flock are both processed with tremolo pickings. With the guitars being harnessed to the maximum capacity, the band truly deserves a full merit for the variety of the riffs. The finale Ageless Ones of None is yet another dark track crafted with crushing slow riffs. That almost sounds like doom metal song, as the band gives their best effort. From the excellent riffs, and dark synth passages to the catchy rhythm guitars. Damnatio Ad Bestias is a great album by all means and if you are into bands such as Incantation, and Grave Miasma then you will definitely dig this album.
Release Date: March 22nd, 2019
Label: Dark Descent Records
1. Temple of the Foul Spirit
2. Morbid Crucifixion
3. Baptized in Satan’s Blood
4. Beasts of the Infernal Void
5. Damnatio ad Bestias
6. Dagger, Thurible, Altar of Death
7. The Shepherd and the Flock
8. Ageless Ones of None