This three-track EP came with a mountain of accompanying information which I dutifully read. It seems like insecurity to me, and I don’t know why because Devilish Impressions have been upping their game since 2000, evolving their style of symphonic blackened death, releasing four albums, and packing out venues in their native Eastern Europe and more recently the Far East. Now Quazarre and his new chums are back to intrigue and delight us with their second EP.
Atmospherics were always this band’s strong point and Devilish Impressions here entice us with ghastly winds. This is a prelude to tension and horror as the instrumentals of “Dvma” string out a funereal line. Quazarre as ever rasps out his lines, dredging out graves as he does so. The pompous and imperious instrumentals add strength as if they were needed. All the while there’s a ghostly choral line hanging faintly in the background air – they could have done more with this, I felt. “Dvma” is a powerful, well crafted track from which other bands can take note. But why does u become v? “Cingvulvm Diaboli” perpetrates this nonsense. Musically, the rumbling of thunder lies underneath this ode to chaos and ruination. Structurally, this piece demonstrates the level of maturity that Devilish Impressions have reached. Not a stone is left unturned as we march through the battle field into multiple walls of nastiness. And Quazarre pulls off the spoken word like no other. He is Evil itself.
The third piece is the single “Interregnvm”. My word. Singles have changed since my days when it meant pop, top 20s and repeating for 8 and fading. Still, Devilish Impressions did get “album of the week” once on a Polish radio station, a fact which is not mentioned in the copious preamble. As for “Interregnvm”, this impressive piece can be likened to vomiting maggots but in a sophisticated way. At first we are attacked by the tight and uncompromising instrumental line. The world stopped as my wife Celine, who was listening in, and I immersed ourselves and exchanged grimaces and horns. It makes you want to rip apart flesh. But “Interrgnvm” steps up several notches as without ever losing the original impact, it rises to beyond epic status and thrills us with ethereal guitar work. Yes, this is music with power and impact. It’s a shame this EP is just 17 minutes in length but no-one is trying to tell us otherwise.
Ah, just like an old painting – “Postmortem Whispering Crows” is mature, sophisticated, subtle. And of course it’s utterly grim and deathly but in a way that is appropriate to the harsh atmospheric wastelands rather than blindly following a musical genre. Over the years, Devilish Impressions have moved along and here’s another impressive phase. In amongst all the verbiage that comes with this work is an explanation from Quazarre about his interest in The Young Poland, a modernist period of Polish literature from the turn of the 19th and 20th century. He goes on to explain that “the … authors following the period’s concept believed in decadence, an end of all culture, the conflict between humans and their civilization, and the concept of art as the highest value”. Now I can see all of this being represented in the transformational and dark atmospheres of “Postmortem Whispering Crows”. It is a magnificent work.
(9/10 Andrew Doherty)