Devilish Impressions – The I (Lifeforce)

Thursday, 28th September 2017
Rating: 7/10

On their fourth full-length foray The I, Poland blackened death outfit Devilish Impressions only further muddle the idea that Polish extreme metal bands are boundary-jumpers. Considering that we had to run through the dusty mental files to remember how the band’s previous 2012 Simulacra unfolded, it wasn’t a stretch to think of Devilish Impressions as another competent, well-meaning, but wholly mid-tier band. The I effortlessly bounces between death and black metal, never quite finding its niche in the process. The end result is near-standard-issue extreme metal.

If we were to plop the band (who consist of vocalist/guitarist Quazarre, drummer Icanraz and second guitarist BP) under some sort of sonic umbrella, then they’d be in league, but certainly not competition, with the likes of Behemoth, Dissection and Vader. While Devilish Impressions can’t match the unbridled intensity of Behemoth nor the sweeping melodicism of Dissection, they prove they can peel off hefty blast-runs on “The Dove and the Serpent” and bristling stop-start dynamics on the title track, in addition to being able to work up, calculated, if not near-triumphant salvos on “Blood Imprinted Stigma,” which clocks in at a robust ten minutes.

But, you’re not going to come away with anything lasting from The I. It’s somewhat of a dutiful album; Polish extreme metal dudes coming together to whip up the same maelstrom that bands of a superior thread already have done. And while brazen cuts such as “Ipse Philosophvs, Daemon, Devs et Omnia” and “The Fatal Messiah” certainly don’t lack in ambition, they’re nowhere near the climatic bodies of work they actually need to be. At least they still wear corpsepaint.

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