Simulacra

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Band Name Devilish Impressions
Album Name Simulacra
Type Album
Released date 21 March 2012
Recorded at Hertz Studio
Members owning this album23

Tracklist

1. Icaros 04:12
2. Legion of Chaos 03:56
3. Lilith 05:02
4. Fear No Gods! 05:47
5. The Scream of the Lambs 03:55
6. Spiritual Blackout 03:44
7. Vi Veri Vniversum Vivus Vici 04:43
8. The Last Farewell 03:56
9. Solitude 04:17
Bonustracks (Extended Version)
10. Prince of the East
11. Somnambulistic Masquerade
Total playing time 39:32

Review @ VesselsOfBlood

16 February 2013

Serpentine Symphonic Death

Devilish Impressions is a group that truly lives up to its own moniker. A Polish quartet formed of members of Asgaard, Crionics, and Abused Majesty, this band’s specialty is fusing the transcending drama of symphonic metal with the sinister nature of blackened death metal to create a powerfully epic blend. After starting its footsteps back in 2000, the quartet began with the “Eritis Sicut Deus” demo in 2002 before releasing two full-length records: “Plurima Mortis Imago” in 2005 and “Diabolicanos: Act III – Armageddon” in 2008. As the discography continued to grow with every release, the fan following of the group increased as well. This all led to the band’s third full-length meeting the light of day in 2012, which is simply entitled “Icaros.” After being taken under the wing of the great Lifeforce Records, Devilish Impressions returns to deliver its powerhouse symphonic metal mix once again.

The musicianship is as powerful as ever in this record. While the high-pitch vocals and snarls are well done, the highlight of this element would be the singing. It has a somewhat unpolished quality, yet it showcases a very operatic and dramatic style of clean singing. As a result, these vocals deliver raw and powerful emotion, and they are truly one of the greatest features for this band’s musicianship. The guitars unleash wicked black metal melodies and riffs that are begging to be heard on Halloween night, and the drums hold great dynamicity, ranging from steady paces to whirlwind blast beats. Both aspects are very well-executed and sound very crisp. This is thanks to the production and mastering, making the music sound clear yet organically raw. Another large highlight that “Simulacra” has to offer is the theatric orchestral effects, which generates more epic energy along with the singing. Overall, the musicianship not only holds up well, but it is also one of the album’s strongest points.

As a whole, “Simulacra” aims for a dramatic and wickedly epic mix between symphonic metal, black metal, and death metal. All in all, Devilish Impressions has hit that mark. The operatic singing and the dark orchestral effects collaborate to establish an epic atmosphere that could definitely be heard in a medieval-fantasy battle scene. It is intense and highly memorable, and, on top of that, they form a great and solid chemistry with the much darker side of the album’s catastrophic musical typhoon. The blackened death metal territory is also tread upon without any stumble in structure, with a full-bodied sound and excellent flow. Vicious high-pitch vocals and stormy instrumentation create dramatically dark tunes that drag the listeners through the fiery gates of Hell, as well as amalgamate greatly with the symphonic melodies. “Simulacra” is a solidly constructed and riveting blackened death metal record, gracefully steps between the wicked and symphonically melodic spheres of the majestic genre.

Lyrically, “Simulacra” focuses mostly on themes of destruction, death, and sorrow. They also iris in on some Greek mythology at times, including in the song “Icaros.” The manner in which these lyrics are written is quite eloquent and dramatic, fitting very well with the darkly epic tracks. They also use quotes and passages from different authors, such as Oscar Wilde, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dante Alighieri, and Edgar Allan Poe, in order to reinforce the aphotic themes of the texts. The simple yet eyecatching artwork also suits the music perfectly, along with the title “Simulacra,” which means an insubstantial or slight likeness, copy, or representation of another thing, hence the angel statue whose face can clearly be seen morphing into a blackened state, like the demon statue. Not only does this record do great in terms of the music, but also in the lyrics and the artwork as well.

Simulacra,” overall, is a very well built and powerful symphonic black death metal record. It showcases a wonderfully solid blend of darkness, drama, and musical potency, equipped with stellar musicianship, strong structure and flow, great album artwork, and poetically cataclysmic lyrics. The symphonic and melodic aspects are gripping and theatrical, and the blackened death metal is wickedly delightful and dark. Both sides of the coin are played out greatly in this record and flow into each other smoothly, and, although “Diabolicanos: Act III – Armageddon” remains as the band's best work, this effort is loyal to old fans and welcoming to new fans alike. If you are in search of a record that mixes epic orchestras with rapturous death metal seamlessly, look no further than “Simulacra.” With the majority of the elements of this record being executed solidly, Devilish Impressions has returned with another fine specimen of symphonic darkness.

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