Raise the hammer to every crucifix you see and tear them all down from pulpit, from neck, and from sight. Turn them upside down as a mockery of the cheap Gods that men would create to strangle the frailty from the yet-unherded fools that inhabit our damned Earth. Their idiocy bleeds down their chests like putrid juice from rotting fruit. By death music and demolished houses of God bring them all down with a new eruption of spells of evil, a conjuration by calloused and torn heavy metal hands into wailing and roaring blasphemy. By axe and screaming Hell’s storm rid the globe of Christ’s lie first then raze the society that’d birth such uncontrollable ignorance and stupidity. Surge with the very ruinous fire of the ancients and breathe the noxious fumes of pure thrashing death metal that’d now bring ultimate uproar to its sermon of defiance with the timeless art of ‘Infernale Metallum Mortis’ from Baja conquerors Infernal Conjuration. Burn alive the unwitting horde and brand the unwilling with this new leviathan’s cross so their delusion may bear the forever permanent mark of the unsaved.
We awaken in the hall of luciferian death masters, a dilapidated and shattered husk of a chapel long haunted by ghouls and sadistic intentions since 2006 where Infernal Conjuration would form in Tijuana, Mexico between musicians who’d been involved in the early days of Omision and who’d go on to feature in Infinitum Obscure prior to their initial split. To the uninitiated these are void-resonant names but for those possessed by the Mexican and Los Angeles death metal scenes of the last twenty years they are legendary names alongside Coffin Texts and Sadistic Intent. That’d be the right place to start when divining the unholy purpose and style of this band as they’d form with the ‘Tremendous Plague’ (2007) demo a rough approximation of the more-or-less affirmed early Morbid Angel-esque attack on ‘Avto de Fe’ (2010) 7″ that signaled a turn towards the style of Mortem (Peru) in some respects with blasting drums and wailing divebombed leads. The project felt most serious as the ‘Death Has Appeared…’ (2014) EP released with a Mortuary cover at the end, a clear signal of the ‘old school’ intentions of the band. Very few bands are that capable of the ancient ways today and to inhabit a that very small realm of bands (with Atomic Aggressor, Pentagram, Mortem, Sadistic Intent, etc.) speaks well of the younger generation keeping death metal’s impetus alive. I wouldn’t say Infernal Conjuration are a puritanical throwback to Florida death metal but that they bring an unusually apt study of the guitar techniques and brutal songwriting that is still a characteristic of the era.
Bending notes and rolling drum spawn crawling descent as Infernal Conjuration make clear from the first second that they are unleashing a goddamned riff fest front-to-back. The experience of this debut is both relentless and unquestionably ‘old school’ in its death-thrashed brutality. Though you’ll certainly hear a direct influence from the likes of ‘Scream Bloody Gore’, ‘Seven Churches’ and ‘Altars of Madness’ on a very basal level the type of composition these guys favor is cognizant of the lineage beyond the early days and reaches the value of those in the aforementioned list of true death metal legends. It isn’t as completely unhinged as Mortem‘s ‘The Devil Speaks in Tongues’ in terms of extremity but, that same demonic spirit is afire within ‘Infernale Metallum Mortis’. Now, to be fair I am very easily impressed by albums in this style when they are done right; This is completely my ‘gig’ when it comes to sitting down with a death metal album, at least two thirds of the time.
I will say that for all of the generally strict orthodoxy that I’m applying in description of Infernal Conjuration‘s style it only suggests the structure and general sound that they’ve employed. Going back to a record like Sadistic Intent‘s ‘Resurrection’ or Coffin Text‘s ‘The Tomb of Infinite Ritual’ shows a much more strict adherence to the brutal thrash history of 80’s death metal whereas ‘Infernale Metallum Mortis’ does explore some atmospheric and psychotropic moments that bleed in just enough extra personality that the full listen isn’t straight up ‘retro’ by any means. “Necrolatria (A los Muertos Blasfemos)” is a great example of the old and new colliding with some moments that remind me of Infinitum Obscure when they’re really leaning into the riffs. The bass guitar presence starts to really catch my ear that this point in the record and I really appreciate how menacing it sounds mixed right in the periphery of the guitars. “Demonic Possession”, a track featured on each of the bands releases up to this point, had me frantically searching through a few databases checking if it was a cover because it straight up sounds as if it were legitimately written in the mid-to-late 80’s. That sort of moment really hits that part of my brain that became terminally in love with death metal after first hearing ‘Altars of Madness’ on my brother’s CD player in the 90’s… I’m right there when listening to this record and I loved every minute of it.
At the end of the day I sure as hell don’t have any deep thoughts to bring to this review because my reaction to ‘Infernale Metallum Mortis’ is almost as visceral as it is cerebral. I instantly loved Infernal Conjuration‘s album and found myself hard-pressed to want to spin anything else for the month I’ve had it. The attack, the riffs, the guitar tone, the drum presence, the just-right bass tone and the rasping vocals all hit exactly the right points of interest. No doubt I could go on and on praising every tiny detail of this album but it’d do a disservice to the folks who already know this language, they’ll know it when they hear it. Very high recommendation and easily up there with the best of June’s release schedule, for my taste. For preview I’d say “Dreadful Knowledge” is a killer opener especially how it pushes into “Profound Immortality” but also check out my personal favorite track “Necrolatria (A los Muertos Blasfemos)”.
Possess the priest. 4.5/5.0
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