Although “:Imprint Daath:”, the debut album of the Vienna-based The Devil and The Universe, a band that cooks a smoking-hot blend of horror movie soundtracks, world music, Ambient/Industrial and lots of tribal drumming, isn’t exactly a new album, there are plenty good reasons for a new review. Especially because of its re-release on CD as I write this (on june 28th via [aufnahme+wiedergabe]). Its first issue was as a limited edition vinyl in 2013 – which was prominently featured in many “Best of 2013”-lists, and the album sold out within minutes, making it physically unavailable ( Thank God for bandcamp!) until a 2nd vinyl edition came out. Although a Compact Disc isn’t as sexy, this my dear friends that missed the 1st edition vinyl, is your chance to get your hands on this album, (But hurry, for this release is limited once again).
After the release of their also fast-selling debut EP “Evoking Eternity”, featuring the great “It Is Our Will” (which is featured as a bonus track on the CD release), expectations rose, and pessimist that I am, I thought “Hey, they can not reach that level again”; they did. 40 minutes of pure goat wave fun, which can be either seen as a KISS-like entertainment machine (see them live and you will know what I mean) or, what I prefer, a really good and homogenous, but not monotonous, instrumental album; even being dancey from time to time and creating a consistant sinister atmosphere. Personally, I favor the stuff than leans on the dancey side – songs such as “Nod” and “The Pilgrim’s Regress” makes me boogie like Joe Cocker on speed. Nevertheless – my personal album favorite is the noisy funeral march “Sitra Ahra” (The droning… and is this a black metal guitar? Holy fucking darkness!) with superb chants, evoking both the imagery of a satanic mass and a ritual cremation.
So no matter whether you prefer shaking your arse to “Iblis” or the superb opening track “Nod” or getting sucked into dark instrumental maelstroms such as “Sitra Ahra”, “Kruzefix” or “Procession”, if you like In Death It Ends, Coil or 23 Skidoo, you will most likely dig The Devil & The Universe as well. The album offers – which is not that common among Ambient/Industrial-influenced bands – a few hits and even the songs which are not exactly “hits”, such as “Kruzefix” or the ace “Parvati’s Lament”, offer a great listening pleasure, which is increased by the superb, very detail-oriented productions – props to the mastering/engineering section. Finally, I have to conclude that “:Imprint Daath” hasn’t lost any of its fascinating appeal within a year since it’s release, which isn’t that common. Plus, I am in the position to say that spinning the album within the past year, it never ceases to offer new facets. Alongside In Death it Ends‘ “Occvlt Machine”, Ulterior’s “Wild in Wildlife” and Blacklists “Midnight of the Century”, I’d consider this album as one of the best debut albums of the last 5 years. You can order one of the 250 limited edition copies here at Strobelight Records.
Release date: 28.06.014