When it comes to brutality in Metal there are always some bands that manage to be more extreme. Usually you won’t find them in Black Metal as this genre usually focuses on atmosphere. An exception to this rule are the Austrians from ASMODEUS, who have unleashed an album containing drums that are unheard of on the average Black Metal album. With literally hundreds of beats per minute ASMODEUS blast their way through your speakers.
Given the fact that this aforementioned atmosphere is important this doesn’t sound like a good start. Luckily the band made an excellent choice by making sure the drums don’t dominate the sound by putting them high up in the mix. Had this been the case “Imperium Damnatum” would’ve been utterly un-listenable and boring unless you fancy insane blast beats and nothing more. Of course the drums are still very easy to be noticed and are still an important factor in ASMODEUS’ sound. As a contrast to Malthus’ drums the riffs aren’t played at lighting speed and create plenty of atmosphere, almost suicidal like at times, like with the opening track. Desdemon, responsible for both the bass guitar and the vocals, has a great dark voice, not as high pitched as many of his peers, but more a dark growl that really fits the music.
With the guitars giving plenty of atmosphere the endless fast drum work becomes really bearable but I wouldn’t have mind some completely different, slower parts in some of the songs. Bar the very rare exceptions even slower depressive guitar riffs are supported by double bass rolls.
A great and exceptionally brutal album, if you like your Black Metal brutal this is an excellent choice, especially if you also still like the odd melody at times. If you aren’t fully convinced yet and value good artwork that might be last thing you need to convince you as this album offers some great fantasy artwork, the creature depicted on the cover fits really well with the voice of Desdemon. (Online April 12, 2006)