Devilish Impressions – Simulacra by Joffie Lovett

Band Line Up:
Icanraz – Drums
Quazarre – Vocals, Guitars, Main Songwriter and Band Manager
Vraath – Bass Guitar

Album Tracklisting:
Icaros
Legion Of Chaos
Lilith
Fear No Gods!
The Scream Of The Lambs
Spiritual Blackout
Vi Veri Vniversum Vivus Vici
The Last Farewell
Solitude

Review
From the first impressions I got from seeing the band image of Devilish Impressions it certainly didn’t surprise me to hear that they had risen from the Metal Underground of Poland with the influence of bands like Behemoth and Vesania on their sleeve.

The visual similarities to the bands is certainly there in the artwork and overall look of the band members, and the album even features a guest appearance of Orion from Behemoth/Vesania fame. I think for the most part though this is where a lot of the similarities end and to slate the band for trying to sound too much like Behemoth or Vesania would be a gross mis-observation in my opinion.

The album kicks off with the track Icaros which brings the album in with powerful vocal melodies to the chorus and lightning fast blast beats leading into groovy 6/8 guitar riffs which would get even the most hardened and experienced of Metalheads headbanging along.

The powerful melodic vocal sections of songs such as this is what I personally think sets them aside from the Behemoth comparisons and cements them more in their own place. The second track on the album ‘Legion Of Chaos’ then starts off with a thundering slow paced riff and foreboding spoken intro and into more raw Black Metal vocals, slow double kick drum segments with nice keyboard lines to accentuate the track in all the right places.

It is surprising how many bands don’t often use the option of keyboards on their music as I always find it makes any good band that much better and can only add more to what in this case is already great music.

The next track is ‘Lilith’ which slows the pace right down and goes over to mostly purely melodic vocals save for a few sections but the song kicks through in slow paced, melancholic and epic fashion to keep the album diverse and interesting.

Any fans of the True Blood TV Series I’m sure will also pick up on the ‘Lilith’ reference as well as being somewhat of a demonic female leader for all vampires.
The track certainly has that slow, dark, haunting and mysterious feel that such a character should give off and ends with a brilliant acoustic guitar segment to let the track quite literally breathe itself to a close…

Just when you thought you were allowed to relax though, the track ‘Fear No Gods!’ then kicks in at a ferocious full Blast Beat pace and has brilliantly heavy guitar riffs and keyboard lines that can’t help but make you want to grimace and gurn up your face and raise the horns! Quite possibly one of the stand out tracks of the album for me and I’d really love to hear this song performed live! Lots of changing segments throughout the song in terms of tempo, melody, and just all round musical ability makes this song a track that you can put on and listen to over and over again!

After that it’s the track ‘The Scream Of The Lambs’ which goes from kicking in at a nice fast 6/8 tempo into a then heavy slow paced 4/4 and then goes and speeds on straight into your collective ears at a fast paced 6/8 Blast Beat tempo and switching between the segments mentioned before.

So for a technical music geek such as me it’s something that I most certainly enjoy. The guitars sound gorgeous on this track as well all the way through, not to mention the nice duel guitar harmonies/solos at the end and the production (despite it being an extreme metal release) reminds me a bit of the kind of production to be found on Devin Townsend’s Accelerated Evolution album.
It just has that element of such a rich and bombastic sound to it when all the elements of the music come together that is quite literally music to my ears! But of course, this is just words and you really have to hear it for yourself!

‘Spiritual Blackout’ is the next track and continues at the mid-paced tempo but kicks in with more of the nice keyboard lines that sound not unlike the epic sounds that you would find on a recent Dimmu Borgir release.

The intro vocals certainly have that low-pitched Shagrath quality to them. The low and heavy guitar is complimented perfectly by the high end string sections that go along with the track, and the whole band seems to come together on this track to create a track that really feeds of all the different elements to the band’s sound.

The next track is ‘Vi Veri Vniversum Vivus Vici’ and you’ll have to forgive me for my lack of Latin knowledge to know what it means (for all I know it could mean “Bugger it! I’ve lost my bus ticket!”)… …anyway, this track in particular certainly seems to have the Vesania type sound to it that I was mentioning earlier with the chaotic mix of haunting string lines and fast paced guitar lines.

The guitar solo on this track as well is really awesome and definitely adds to it. I like the eery whispering outro at the end of the track which builds with distortion and digital delay effects into the next track ‘The Last Farewell’.

‘The Last Farewell’ is a track that brings back memories of older Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth releases (yes, I know they are 2 band names that don’t exactly attract great acclaim on Metal Rules… …boo hiss! They’re not tr00/kVlt/N3cro… etc.)
As the feel of the keyboard lines and melodic vocals definitely harks back to things like the Enthrone Darkness Triumphant album and the Black Metal vocals and guitar parts seems to hark back to older Cradle Of Filth albums such as Midian and the From The Cradle To Enslave EP. Just my two cents anyway and I’m sure I’ll be torn apart by the Metal purists for even mentioning two such blasphemous names…. ….and I shall find it hilarious as always.

Last track on the album is ‘Solitude’, a slow and solemn instrumental track with an intro of stormy winds, harpsichord and mournful slow guitar sections starts off the track into what sounds like the funeral dirge to end what has certainly been an epic album from start to finish. The track builds and builds from its subtle and quiet intro into a fitting tribute to an album of nothing short of brilliance.

Well, what more can I say… …Devilish Impressions have most certainly made an impression on this music fan! Despite having released 2 albums prior to this one (Plurima Mortis Imago and Diabolicanos – Act III: Armageddon… …try wrapping your tongue around THOSE titles!)

I had not heard of this group before, but I’m massively impressed with what I’m hearing from this band who I hope can and most likely will rise through the ranks of the Black Metal world to become something even greater than this album proves that they are.

Great Black Metal vocals, great guitar playing and heavy tone, very tight and well mixed pounding drumming and elaborate and interesting keyboard lines all come together on this album to create something that very much took me by surprise as being something really impressive and most certainly a band to keep an eye on for the future!

It would be a crime for me to not give this album a 4 out of 5 rating, even if you have not heard of the band name before or if you’re not a fan of the more fuzzy sound of the more True Black Metal bands then I would highly recommend checking out this fantastic album which I’m sure we’ll be seeing in a high position in the best of 2012 standings!

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