Release date: September 29, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Seldom has a band name been so appropriate! “Devilish Impressions” is indeed what’s on offer on the debut album of this Polish Black Metal ensemble. The band consists of Starash on guitars, main composer Turquoissa on keys, and Quazarre on vocals, guitars, and additional keys (Adrian Nefarious guests on bass for this album, as does drummer Dragor). These dark souls have taken on a very ambitious task with this album, trying to fuse brutal Black Metal with 70s Progressive Rock, Death Metal, and some rather Psychedelic elements as well, but the result is surprisingly successful. Those into this style of music would probably know that Quazarre has released several albums with Goth act Dargaard, and the dark atmosphere of the latter is also evident on Plurima Mortis Imago, despite this album being far, far more brutal than anything Dargaard has ever released. It’s far better too…

Despite containing only 7 “proper” tracks (the track total is nine, including an instrumental intro and the interlude “Triangle And Omega Spaces”), there’s lots of stuff to digest here, with each track featuring layers and layers of guitars and keyboards. This should definitely not scare you off, though, instead you should accept the challenge –- Plurima Mortis Imago is namely ready to offer you hours of listening pleasure for months to come.

“Rebellion Of Will Manifesto” opens Death Metal-style with chunky guitars and a fast-paced beat, before developing into a more Symphonic style a few minutes into the track. There’s some very cool guitar riffs going on here, and this track has everything an album opener should have… and that Emperor-style keyboard part towards the end is phenomenal.

“Visions Of Kingdom To Come …” is a more traditional Black Metal track, and this song somewhat recalls Norwegian underground act Odium in the way the guitars and keys are arranged. The band does well in blending fast bits with more bombastic and heavy riffs, and this is indeed another very strong track. Quazarre’s vocals are not unlike those of Thebon of Keep Of Kalessin, and they work very well with the music.

The next track, “Dracula’s Mechanized Universe,” offers (besides the album’s most cheesy song title) the weakest musical context of the nine compositions. Although things get better with the more Progressive approach applied towards the end, most of this track is far too A4, and the opening keyboard chords have been done (better) thousands of times before.

Things get better with “Funeral Of God,” which is heavier and more guitar-based than its predecessor. This track also features clean vocals, which, although not very “well sung” in the traditional way, works well in this musical context. The Slayer-ish twin guitar ideas found in this track work great, sharing the spotlight with more complex keyboard arrangements, and this is actually one of the album’s strongest songs.

“Triangle & Omega Spaces” (the band sure has some very deep meaning behinds these song titles) shows off Quazarre’s Dargaard connection, leading into the 3-minute 30 second short “Crowned To Be Crucified.” This is the catchiest number on Plurima Mortis Imago, and except for the intro –- which again features those overly cheesy keyboards -– this is a very cool track, with groovy guitars, majestic keys, and a good mix of dirty and clean vocals.

If “Crowned …,” although in a very wide understanding of it, could maybe fit the term “commercial,” this is clearly not the case with the 10-minute Black Metal epic “Smell Of Death.” This is a phenomenal composition featuring everything this album is about, and is worth the money alone. This song really deserves a full review for itself, and fans of anything related to Metal should check this one out.

The reason why the band didn’t just end the album here is unknown, with its epic proportions and monumental sound, “Smell …” would be the perfect album closer, but in any case, “SataniChaoSymphony” has gotten the honors instead. Luckily, this is another well-composed piece of music, with the bombast, melodic, and epic approach –- although only 4 minutes long –- needed to round off an album like this. Again, the clean vocals give the music some extra spice, and Quazarre really does a good job on Plurima Mortis Imago.

However, this is not the case with all the band members. The guitars, keyboards, and vocals have been discussed and praised several times during this review, but the rhythm section has not been mentioned… until now. Although the production quality is typically treble-heavy in classic Black Metal fashion and the bass work of Adrian Nefarious is not very audible, the drumming of guest musician Dragor is. There’s no question he’s got the speed needed for this style of music, but the timing, especially in his double-bass work, is just too poorly done. It’s hard to find one part with properly played bass drums on Plurima …, and this is really a major issue as steady, high-speed drumming is one of the core elements of good Black Metal. Just imagine Mayhem or Emperor without the drumming of Hellhammer and Trym –- it just wouldn’t be the same, would it?

The production quality as a whole is entirely okay, but really nothing more. The guitar sound is a bit cheap, and the album could definitely have sounded (even) more powerful with a bit more time spent in the mixing process. However, this should not scare you away from checking out this album -– there’s some great music on offer her, and the name Devilish Impressions may very well be on everybody’s lips in no time at all. If this is what the funeral of God is actually like, I’d definitely want to be at that funeral…


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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