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Impiety – Ravage & Conquer (2012) - 50%

Asag_Asakku, May 29th, 2012

I observed for quite a long time that a band’s exotic origin does not guarantee the originality of its music. Strength of Scandinavian black metal seems to force other groups from different geographical horizons to comply with the prevailing style. This is clearly the case for Impiety, even if they were formed more than twenty years ago in the city state of Singapore. Despite a long track record and some international appearances, Shyaithan’s posse is not really known for its musical innovations. Ravage & Conquer (2012), latest release of the band, provides further evidence of this fact.

This Asian trio could indeed come from almost anywhere in the world and we would not perceive any difference. Their black / death / thrash metal with German sauce, full of big riffs and blasts beats, can be heard from Ulaanbaatar to Chibougamau. However, this does not mean that the music of Impiety is devoid of qualities. From the opening track, Revelation Decimation, one is struck by the production’s extreme power. It hits hard and it never slows down. Note also the precision of the interpreters, who are sharp as knives, even in the fastest parts of the album. However, this manifest will to punish listeners’ ears has a less rosy side. The sound mix gives a highly synthetic result, especially on drums, with a far too obvious triggering. Unquestionably, the band did a monstrous studio work, but neglected the spontaneous side of their music, mostly revealed live. It is their choice, but it gives a generic album whose interest is limited.

Ravage & Conquer is a record that remains interesting. The ballsy cover of classic Bathory "Sacrifice" is great, but the whole is still a victim of a hardly excusable overproduction, given all the experience within the group. With this album, Impiety resolutely takes the road of a technical and rather cold brutal death metal, a path that I respect but disagree. 5/10

Originally written for

Just cutting it above average. - 58%

Andromeda_Unchained, May 11th, 2012

From the first few seconds of the opening leviathan "Revelation Decimation" I knew exactly what to expect from Singaporean blasphemers Impiety's eighth full-length album. Blasting blackened death metal, sounding a fuck load like Polish acts Behemoth and Azarath. Unfortunately Impiety just can't seem to live up to the Polish demons, and whilst they perform with a burning fire in their eyes I'm not completely sold on the final product.

Don't get me wrong, there are without a doubt some cool riffs spluttered throughout Ravage & Conquer and of course more blast beats than you can shake a stick at, but I'm just not wowed. I've heard this before, and I've heard it done better. Couple this with the fact that the drums dominate the mix, and how the drum sound isn't great to say the least, I'm probably not going to find myself reaching for this anytime soon.

The band can definitely play well, and there are some genuinely cool parts, but the drums are a little too overpowering for my liking. Not to mention acts such as the aforementioned Behemoth and Azarath do this a lot better, and if I feel the need for blasting death metal I can always look to Fleshgod Apocalypse and Hour of Penance. This is a nice try, but for a band's eighth release I don't know, there is a lot of room for refinement, and please next time sort out the mix.

Originally written for

Ravage & Conquer - 57%

SmithMetal84, April 4th, 2012

Impiety already have a substantial enough discography behind them, forming in 1990 and releasing seven full-length albums since then, this being their eighth. They’re known for having numerous line-up changes, and stylistic changes as well. Last year’s “Worshippers Of The Seventh Tyranny” saw them shifting toward a more progressive outlet, with only one song on the entire album reaching almost forty minutes. This year they’ve decided to change their style once again, going for an all-out blackened death metal attack rather than progressive. Some of their long-lasting traits are still cleaved heavily to, such as their inclination for extremely fast drums and heavy guitars, and their songs are still quite long (the longest being eight minutes), but there’s not as much progressiveness in this album as there was on its predecessor; albeit there are still some not-so-conventional characteristics throughout.

The album kicks off with “Revelation Decimation”, building up a long intro with strange horn sounds and a catchy enough intro riff. The drums showcase once more their affinity for powerful and incredibly fast blast beats, driving the music forward at an exponential rate. Two minutes into the song, they put on display what the whole album is about to offer: speed and relentlessness. The guitars play fast tremolos, mixed with chugging grooves and some more straightforward riffing that’s often seen in blackened death metal. There’s some experimentation with the guitars in the title track, a weird guitar effect making its way through and changing the sound of the guitars . With all this speed and intensity Impiety show their clear love for Polish death metal, especially for bands like Behemoth, with whom they bear a huge resemblance. There’s some catchy riffs here and there, but more often than not their music is dominated by fast tremolos and relentless drumming. The vocals are honestly quite bland, gruff and harsh growls that lay lower in the mix. In addition, incoherence places a strong presence in their music, as the songwriting constantly undergoes different structures and changes; and put bluntly, makes it sound as if not much thought was put into the songwriting process.

I have to say that their music is honestly quite vapid. While they focus heavily on the brutality and intensity, there’s not much else left to offer the listener, and he gets left feeling quite worn out at the end. Boredom and itchiness often emerges from the constant repetitiveness and the incessant speed, having practically no traits that make the band stand out in any way. And despite the constant changes in riffs, there’s very little variation or uplifting traits that can help keep the listener’s attention, and unfortunately their love for all that is fast and ‘brutal’ does not bode particularly well for them. The trio have definitely shown that they have the skill and the speed to play blackened death, but other than that, there’s honestly nothing special about “Ravage & Conquer”. I will say, however, that Behemoth fans will absolutely drool over this; but I came out unimpressed.