Genre: Black Metal
Label: Hammer of Hate
Sacrilegious Impalement are a Finnish black metal band who have released one prior effort, 2009′s Cultus Nex. The members have been in bands such as the awesome black/thrash Evil Angel and the bestial black/death Goatsodomy, both of whom I enjoy. Their first album was not the worst black metal I have ever heard, but it was very generic and did not move me. I have not had a desire to listen to it again.
Approaching this album, I hoped for some progression. I was not disappointed! While still not a very original album, Exalted Spectres is memorable and well executed. Vocalist Hellwind Inferion’s Chant of “SIX! SIX! SIX!” at the end of “Wolves of the Black Moon” made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
Musically, this album is a fusion of typical Marduk/Dark Funeral blasting and the more melodic riffs of De Mysteriis era Mayhem or Watain. Plenty of dissonant yet gorgeous chords and tremolo picking, just listen to “At the Altar Afore Eternity” or “The Woods in a Solitary Soul”. There are a lot of cool riffs. Even the intro track is not your typical satanic chanting sample or synthesizer piece; it’s a short, blasting black metal song.
The drums are not really exceptional, but they don’t take away from the music. I can think of a few places on this album where a drum roll or two would have been cool, and the bass is also inaudible, but this is a black metal album, so neither of those things are surprising or terribly annoying. I was pleasantly surprised to hear a guitar solo, closing the final track, the epic slab of melancholy that is “The Grand Funeral Convoy”.
Though I did compare this to Watain, don’t assume it’s as frilly and atypical as the direction Watain is moving in now; this is still a pretty straight forward black metal album, though it is certainly has musical substance. If you like Mayhem, Marduk, or more current bands like Watain and Acheronian Dirge, you will like this album. Standout tracks are “Wolves of the Black Moon”, “Enter Godhood”, and “Grand Funeral Convoy” . I give this an 8/10.