Tuesday, 10 April 2012

MONSTROSITY - Imperial Doom (1992)

01  Imperial Doom
02  Definitive Inquisition
03  Ceremonial Void
04  Immense Malignancy
05  Vicious Mental Thirst
06  Burden of Evil
07  Horror Infinity
08  Final Cremation
09  Darkest Dream

'Imperial Doom' is the debut album by US death metal band Monstrosity. It was released on May 26, 1992 through Nuclear Blast. The album sold 40,000 copies worldwide and at the time, received excellent ratings in the press. A triumphant tour of Europe supporting Pestilence was accomplished but following disagreements regarding royalties, Monstrosity left the Nuclear Blast label. Vocalist, George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher and drummer, Lee Harrison, were the founders of Monstrosity. Harrison had just left the band Malevolent Creation and George Fisher gave up a band in his hometown of Maryland and came to Florida in 1991. Jon Rubin who had played guitar in Malevolent Creation also joined as did Mark Van Erp (ex-Cynic bassist) and Jason Gobel (ex-Cynic guitarist), thus completing the original line-up.

I am firmly of the opinion that George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher has been wasting his time with Cannibal Corpse for years, as Monstrosity was and still is the better band of the two. This album alone proves that. His vocals are better on this album, as they are deep and guttural yet relatively coherent, unilke his current gig. And musically, Monstrosity are top notch as well, no comparison.

'Imperial Doom' does lack some of the character that most of the other Florida bands were exuding through individual tracks. There is no "Body Bag", "Chapel of Ghouls", "Pull the Plug" or anything like that here, but it's very consistent, and the band instantly goes for the throat to prove what they're all about, with a title track that scales from a bull rush of an intro to a furious blast beat broken down into winding rhythms and later a slower, doomy drawl. They continue to pace themselves well through "Definitive Inquisition", "Immense Malignancy" and "Vicious Mental Thirst", all of which exhibit considerable effort, taut and effective leads and a literal barrage of what could then be considered technical structure.

'Imperial Doom' is not a first rate offering, but it stands alongside Malevolent Creation's The Ten Commandments as one of the more reliable second stringers of the period, losing little to none of its aggression and abrasion throughout the decades since. Concentrated, concise brutality with well spun lyrics, this was certainly a rock solid addition to Nuclear Blast's early catalog, and a band that could have easily competed in the big leagues with some slightly more memorable songwriting.

*A promotional video was made for the song "Final Cremation".

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