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The Beginning of Blasphemy - 94%

HanSathanas, May 28th, 2012

No introduction is necessary when one talks about Singapore mighty Impiety. The band has been around for over 18 years now. With rotating door of membership changes, the only person remains in the band ever since its dawn of creation is the good Ariffeen Deen, also known as Shyaithan. I have quite a few things to say about Impiety’s atrocious debut. Here we go.

I managed to get my hands on this record when a friend of mine gave me the tape for keepsake. Impiety opened the gate with Intromancy: Dzul Ar’shil Jaheem. I read the Quran a bit and am to understand that Arsh refers to the ‘throne of Allah’ which is supposedly furnished in highest heaven. The word Jaheem, whatever the spelling variations may be, can only mean one thing; Hell. In Arabic and the Quranic tradition, Jaheem is the seventh last inferno made for the wickedest of men. Now I wonder what they actually mean by combining those words in one sentence. Either way, the chanting is constructively atmospheric. Perhaps it sets the mood for what’s going to occur next, which is Anal-Madonna. Yes. A very nice title for a song if you asked me. The riffs flow very coherently, creating a sort of ritualistic melody to it. Not to mention Shyaithan super raspy shriek that accompanies the headbangable rhythm. The difference between them and other Nordic influenced bands of their time, is that Impiety tend to stay away from copying the riff patterns typical of most imitators. Instead, the band focused on crafting a truly occult masterpiece based on their cultural origin. In essence, the latter is clearly reflected on Asateerul Awaleen. Male choirs (I believed they are played through keyboard of course) is used resourcefully in Anal-Madonna, thus enhancing its already grim facade, creating an impression that you are in the middle of a Satanic ritual with Virgin Mary being sodomised viciously before your eyes! If that is not evil enough, I don’t know what is. Each time the chorus comes on, Iblyss performs his decent blast beats on the snare like a hungry wolf. The recipe is always to not overuse this kind of resources because I might as well agree that Shyaithan has learned a lot of things when Impiety demos got rejected by Emperor and Euronymous. The quality of those demos is horrible. In short, Impiety becomes a laughing stock during their formative years. Therefore it is appropriate to emphasise that the band has indeed taken the incident as a valuable lesson.

Going to the second track, Impiety are able to embellish on their creative side with Divine Hutamahan Frostfuck. Way for a title. Al-Marhum Abyydoss and Leprophiliac Rex really shine on this track. The riffs are played at a moderate pace with bass solo interjecting in between at fixed interval. Although they are rather standard, Impiety as a whole has found a better way to deliver this song effectively. Some favourite sections from this conjuration can be heard after each bass solo where Iblyss gunned down the snare and the crash over a single layer riff played alternately. The sound provokes the imagery of total annihilation of religious followers and devotees alike. Additionally, they have this interesting acoustic part around 2:43 into the song. The brief strum plays a huge role in building a solid foundation for this blasphemous hymn. It just shows that Impiety are not another copycat, but innovators in their own respect.

Next song, the aptly titled Hymnvocation of Nazarethian Nunwhores also follows similar pattern without sounding the same as previous track. Beginning from 3:27 into the song, another great riff appears from the bowels of Satan himself, again with some nice male choirs layered in the background. These will then be used until it fades out slowly. After it is over, we are treated with Magick Consecration Goatsodomy; an invocation taken from their last EP Salve the Goat...Iblis Excelsi but now it sees a huge share of Satanic influence. The riffs on this particular desecration are simply barbaric; they are sufficiently flavoured with blood filled competency. I simply bang my head to its slaying performance. Shyaithan screams on top of his lungs on this one. Alas, the song finishes abruptly, or should I say cut halfway, much like Stemmen Fra Tarnet from the Aske mini CD if you have remembered listening to it. Another of my favourite is Ceremonial Necrochrist Redesecration. Now I don’t know what to make of that title but I believe it has something to do with post mortal desecration on the dead body of Jesus Christ. Romantic, is it not? It better be. This version I think is well performed and produced for this record. The demo version sounds very much like a fart! No wonder the guys in Emperor laughed their asses off upon listening to what Mr. Shyaithan and friends have demonstrated through their tape. As usual, we can’t really understand what a band is singing in black metal but the word ‘Ceremonial Necrochrist Redesecration’ is shouted quite a few times. Therefore it is safe to suggest that the title itself is the chorus after all. This is also where some of the best riffs are found in Asateruul Awaleen.

Being a Malay who lives in a Muslim country, having heard the word ‘Bismishyaithan’ for the first time does invoke a sense of terror that hits me straight to the very core. Commonly we have ‘Bismillah’ which means ‘In the name of Allah’ in Arabic. Bohemian Rhapsody, anyone? When it is replaced with ‘shyaithan’, I was thinking that Mr. Ariffeen must be seriously injured in the head for coming up with such a title. But hey, what do you expect? This is fucking black metal! The song itself is ridiculously evil. If ever anyone tries to take this track and put it on a compilation, everybody knows it is Impiety without looking at it because here, they are perhaps the only band who recklessly toyed with such a reversal. But of course, I realised that Impiety are taking it seriously on this song. I can hear the word ‘blasphemy’ being sung clearly. The rest is pure cacophony. It’s pretty much a standard black metal song with male chanting popping every now and then. The song then reaches its ultimate defilement around 2:38 onwards. Nice double pedal on this one. Finally, the album closes with one of their oldest materials called Blasphemyth...The Seventh Goatspawn. Appropriately executed no more than a minute, it kind of concludes the record with an attitude. The early demo version has this ‘bzzz... bzzz... bzzz...’ all over the place but thankfully it is no more on Asateruul Awaleen. Another re-recorded version later appears in split release with Siamese Christ-beheaders Surrender of Divinity, where Impiety permanently settles in the blackened death thrash vault.

Precisely, this is the start of it all for mighty Impiety. I praised the band’s overall performance as musicians. Shyaithan has been quite resilient in getting over various obstacles that gnawed other bands in his country. On Asateruul Awaleen, the band has proven to their detractors that they are not a one hit wonder. What the band has written for this debut requires immense amount of intimate knowledge over ancient cultures and religions. It is believed that the songs are largely influenced from Islam and Hinduism (which explains why some riffs sound akin to Balinese traditional music, particularly Magick Consecration Goatsodomy). They may not be the only band who put forward such ideas, but Impiety are the most successful in getting their messages across. The title of the album refers to pre Islamic era of sorts, where paganism and idolatry were once practiced widely by the jahiliyah Arabs prior to the coming of Muslim prophets. The words also appeared in one of the verses in the Quran, particularly Surah Al Qalam where this verse tells the story of how prophet Muhammad was ridiculed by the infidels, citing him as nothing more than a mad man. To counter this accusation, Allah gave Suratul Qalam through Gabriel for Muhammad to counteract the kafirs' defamation. With this much of an insight, Impiety have more than sufficient materials to make not one record, but an exhaustive list of future releases. So kudos to these beasts for putting out a great, memorable record. I shall answer no more questions.

Neo-barbaric black magick ritual forni-desecration - 79%

Pestbesmittad, November 4th, 2007

Impiety’s debut album is an interesting mixture of old school black/death metal and Nordic black metal. The Nordic black metal influence can be heard in the high’n’shrieky vocals and the production, which is raw in the vein of early 90s Nordic black metal releases, while the music itself is still in the old school black/death metal vein, just like on the band’s previous releases. As I already said, the vocals on this album are done in a black metal style. This is a change from the demo and the EP, on which the vocals were done in a growly style. According to the band themselves, they perform neo-barbaric black magick ritual forni-desecration musick on “Asateerul Awaleen” and looking at the song titles, I can only agree. Too bad the lyrics aren’t included (at least not on the Agonia version of the CD), I’d have loved to read the lyrics to a song called “Anal Madonna”!

The main reason for the raw feel of the music on this album is the guitar sound. However, the guitar sound is pretty thin but thankfully the Gehennic bassbaptisms courtesy of Leprophiliac Rex are loud in the mix, so the music has bottom end to it. I still would’ve preferred the guitars a bit louder in the mix though. I’ve read in an interview that the band weren’t satisfied with the production on this album, as they were trying to get a sound that would have been more like the one on “Salve The Goat: Iblis Exelsi”. I myself am quite fine with the production here though.

The album starts with “Intromancy: Dzuul Ar’Shil Jaheem”, a pompous classical piece including a choir. Then “Anal Madonna” begins a blasphemous musical onslaught that will not cease until the last note of “Blasphemy... The Seventh Goatspawn” has faded. On previous releases Impiety never really experimented with their music but on “Asateerul Awaleen” a few new things are brought in. For example, synth is used at times. The synth sound is a choir effect and it’s much too loud in the mix, which makes it dominate the music and sort of push everything else aside when it’s used. This choir effect also sounds somewhat artificial which puts a damper on things. “Hymnvocation of Nazarethian Nunwhores” is the only track where I think the synths sound good and actually manage to create a dark atmosphere. Another new thing is... acoustic guitars! Haha, now I suppose some of you just shat your pants? Don’t worry though, the acoustic guitars only appear on “Divine Hutamahan Frostfuck” where they add an almost “folky” feel to the parts where they are used. This may sound unbelievable but you’ll just have to hear it for yourselves.

A third new thing Impiety introduce on “Asateerul Awaleen” are gongs. This is of course in line with the band’s Eastern origins but I never thought of using gongs in underground metal. The gongs appear on “Divine Hutamahan Frostfuck”, “Magick-Consecration Goatsodomy” and “Ceremonial Necrochrist Redesecration”. “Magick-Consecration Goatsodomy” is a re-recording of one of the tracks from the “Salve the Goat: Iblis Exelsi” EP. “Ceremonial Necrochrist Redesecration” is a re-recording of the title track of the band’s demo. This version is easier to follow than the demo version due to the better production. They’ve also added synths to the end of the song. The gongs sound pretty cool actually and at the end of the day prove to be a nice addition.

“Bismishaithan” is the track on which the synths are used most and here I get really irritated at how high in the mix they are. “Blasphemy... The Seventh Goatspawn” is another re-recorded demo track but they haven’t added any gongs or synths to this version. I don’t know why they chose to re-record this particular track since it’s short, pretty chaotic and doesn’t have much substance. Re-recording any other demo track would have been a better move. Or why not just write some new tracks and include them instead? You see folks, the biggest criticism for me on this album is the lack of new material. Out of a total of eight tracks one is an intro and three are re-recorded tracks from previous releases. Add to this the fact that the playing time of the album is just under forty minutes. Under these circumstances I think re-recording as much as three old tracks is uncalled for and I took off some points for this. It would have been better if the band had waited until they had enough new material to fill up an entire album.

“Asateerul Awaleen” doesn’t offer much new stuff for those who already possess the demo and the EP. On the other hand the different production, different vocals and the use of gongs and synths ensure that the re-recorded tracks don’t sound identical to the previous versions. Overall this is a competent debut which can be seen as a round-up of the band’s early days. Yet for me there are some annoying factors, such as the synths and the number of re-recorded tracks.