‘Beneath the Crimson Eclipse’ may be the debut EP of Imperial Demonic, but there can be no mistake that the musicians in the band have some extended experience in other bands. Indeed, the quintet that originates from Belfast, Northern Ireland, features members of acts such as Overoth, Celtachor, Darkest Era and, perhaps the best know of them all, Alestorm. Not that Imperial Demonic sounds like any of these bands, or sound very British at all. In fact, they sound very Swedish and most accurately, they sound an awful lot like Dark Funeral on their ‘Diabolis Interium’ album and surrounding records. Fast, melody-driven Black Metal with thundering drums and meandering melodies. The dictating harsh vocals, occasional switch to slightly more guttural approaches, and even the timing of the vocals are also almost identical to the work of Emperor Magus Caligula. However, to call Imperial Demonic a full Dark Funeral clone would be selling them somewhat short, as they tend to blend in a tad more melody at times. And opening track ‘The Furnace’ is probably the odd one out on the EP, adding a heavy dose of Naglfar and even a sense of later Dimmu Borgir to the fold. Having said that, it’s hard to deny the similarities between a song like ‘Ways of the Secular Flesh’ or ‘The Path of Night’ and Dark Funeral tracks ‘Ravenna Strigoi Mortii’ or ‘An Apprentice of Satan’.
Is that a bad thing? No, it’s hard to deny the skill and musicianship of the band, and they pull it all off extremely well. I like that this is an EP though, as at the end of the day, most of the music has a similar pace and pattern which simply works better on shorter formats. Time will tell how the band will develop their style further, staying on this path or perhaps adding a little bit more of an own sound. Until that, ‘Beneath the Crimson Eclipse’ is a recommendable debut EP for those that crave more Black Metal in the vein of Dark Funeral.