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Imprecation

Older death metal fans probably will be familiar with Imprecation from Texas. The compilation of older demos and singles 'Theurgia Goetia Summa' that was released in 1995 through Spain's Repulse records was filled with satanic death metal. In between 1998 and 20098 the band was inactive, but they have now returned with a killer album along the lines of their earlier material. A good reason to ask them some questions we thought. Singer David Herrera answered.

By: Pim B. | Archive under death metal / grindcore

Hi guys, good to see you have returned with the release of your first proper full-length 'Satanae Tenebris Infinita'. Actually you returned in 2009 and you started out in 1991 and were active till 1998. So can you tell us a bit about the past, the split and the return of Imprecation?
We started in 1991 from the ashes of Dark Reign and Undertaker, formed by Ruben Elizondo and Phil Westmoreland. In 1992 we released our first demo 'Ceremony of the Nine Angles' on cassette, and the following year saw the release of 'Sigil of Baphomet' 7 inch on Drowned productions. I then left the band in late 1993 and shortly after Phil left. Mark Beecher took over on vocals after my departure, and the band recorded the 'Promo '94' three song release which eventually ended up as the first three songs on the compilation LP 'Theurgia Goetia Summa'. The earlier work compiled the rest of the LP, which was released on Repulse. The band continued on for a few years after, but on-going tensions between certain band members eventually led to the demise of the band in 1998. Fast forward to 2009, I got a phone call from Ruben telling me that him and Phil were putting the band back together and wanted me to return if I was interested. I jumped at the chance being that I felt that I left the band prematurely and wanted to continue what was started in the early nineties. We entered the studio almost immediately and recorded our 'Sigil of Lucifer' 7 inch released on Negativity Records. That release was almost like knocking the rust off of the machine after so many years in a dormant state, but almost as soon as the release saw the light of day our guitarists Phil and Jim left the band and left us in a tight spot. Me and Ruben were determined to make sure that things would not end that way, we retained Milton Luna on bass and Danny Hiller rejoined after recovering from arm surgery and was able to play the guitar again. The result was blood and sweat over the next year to refine the Imprecation sound with the four of us, and we recorded the self-released demo 'Jehovah Denied' to make our statement that we were back to destroy. The biggest goal that Ruben and I have had for the band was to release a proper full length album, as that had not been accomplished at that point. After signing with Dark Descent records we entered the studio and hammered out 'Satanae Tenebris Infinita', which I feel is the strongest work to date.

So, what have you guys been up to in the period Imprecation was on hiatus? I think you have been busy in other bands right?
Yes, we were all busy with other bands. Ruben, Milton and Danny were in the black metal band Adumus, and I was and still am busy with my vocal role in Bahimiron.

Since you got back in 2009 you have recorded an EP and a demo. I think three of the songs of the demo ended up on 'Satanae Tenebris Infinita'? I assume you re-recorded those tracks for the full-length? Was that demo also on sale or strictly for promotional purposes?
Yeah, we stated from the very beginning that the demo was to be a precursor to the LP, and that three of the four songs were to be re-recorded to match the rest of the music that would appear. We didn't want to release the LP all pieced together, that would have given the album a feel similar to our compilation LP and that would not be right. I am thoroughly satisfied with the new versions of the demo songs, plus I always liked it when bands would have a few songs in their discography that have previously appeared in a more primitive form, much like Morbid Angel, Slayer, VoiVod, Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, Emperor, Mayhem and so on have done on demos and 7 inches. Our 'Jehovah Denied' demo was very limited, though it has been released on a limited 150 cassettes through Unholy Domain in Italy and there are talks of Rex Bagude releasing it on a 10 inch as well.

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Can you tell us a bit about the recording of 'Satanae Tenebris Infinita'? What studio did you use? Did it take a long time to record? Who mixed it and so on?
The recording went very well. We knocked out all of the instruments including vocals in 3 5 hour sessions. After that, it was all mix and extras like solos, keyboards and stuff. We went to Big Door Studios in Webster, TX which is owned and run by a good friend of mine named Mike BBQ. I've worked with him for years with past albums from my black metal band Bahimiron. Imprecation plans on using him for future recordings as well, always happy with the final results coming from Big Door. Mike did all of the engineering, and between him and the band we came up with a mix that we felt was perfect for this particular album.

How would you say that your new material can be compared to or differs from the early recordings from the 90s that most (older) fans know of the compilation album 'Theurgia Goetia Summa'?
Well, I would say that it is in line with all of our older material, though played with a different urgency. You see back in the day we were more focused on the Doom aspect of the music with Phil Westmoreland writing a majority of the material. Phil has always been influenced by Doom, and one of the biggest inspirations he had and still does is Entombed's 'Left Hand Path' masterpiece. The newer material is mainly written by our drummer Ruben Elizondo, he has written a lot of our material in the past with such songs as 'Of The Underworld' and 'The Throne Is Lost' plus contributions to such songs as 'Emperor of the Infernal Spirits'. So the sounds that we had coming out of our early material is still present with our newer stuff, as Ruben is not influenced by any particular band when he writes, he has really never been! Both Milton and Danny are contributing to the new material as well, and to my ears it fits right in line with everything that Imprecation is about. You can hear this evidence on such songs as 'Blood Dominion', 'Angel of Salvation's Doom' (penned by Milton) and 'Hosanna Ex Inferis' (penned by Danny).

Would you say that your influences are still the same as in the 90s when you started out? What are your influences by the way?
Absolutely. Still driven by the foundation of what was the early formula of Imprecation, being the sounds of early Morbid Angel, Immolation, Blasphemy, Jeff Gruslin era Vital Remains, and early Swedish death metal. My personal influences stem from Black Winds of the Canadian gods Blasphemy, David Vincent ('Altars Of Madness'), Glenn Danzig, early Impaled Nazarene, Jeff Gruslin, Godflesh's 'Streetcleaner', and Ross Dolan.

Can you also tell a bit more about the lyrical content and what inspires you to write those lyrics?
Everything is summoned and vomited through the nocturnal poison of Lord Sathanas.

'Satanae Tenebris Infinita' has been released by Dark Descent, which is a fine label. How did you hook up with them and how is the cooperation so far?
Dark Descent is an excellent label, I actually approached Matt as he had agreed to release a split involving Imprecation and our brothers in Blaspherian prior to the recording of 'Jehovah Denied', so once I saw that he was making positive comments on various forums in regards to that demo, I decided to see if he would be interested in releasing our first proper full length. As long as he will have us on his label I cannot see us wanting to work with anyone else as we are 100% satisfied with everything so far.

You have been doing some shows recently. Is there more to come and is there a possibility you will cross the Atlantic for shows in Europe?
There are proposed shows in the northeast with a killer band, though I will not make any announcements until it is official with both the band and the company Signature Riff. Vinny from Signature Riff has proven to be a professional with us, and we already look at him as a brother with Imprecation! As far as Europe is concerned, we would love to go. It's been one of our main goals since the inception of the band. Unfortunately no serious proposals have come our way as of yet, if the right offer comes then we will head out there. I would especially like to play in Spain and Germany, as we seem to have a ton of support coming from those particular countries!

Is there any other news that might be interesting for the fans? I think I heard about a split 7”?
Yeah, as I mentioned before we are about to enter the studio to record a new song to appear on the upcoming split 7 inch with Blaspherian. Our song is entitled 'Unlock the Ancient Portal of the Faceless Lord'. The cover artwork is amazing, done by a good friend and the lead singer of Blaspherian Daniel “Sawblade” Shaw. To be released on Dark Descent of course!

Okay, that's all I've got to ask. Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks for the interview, cheers!!

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