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When barbarity hits a wall - 40%

Byrgan, December 29th, 2010

Impurity has been shifting their general sound per album: going with a gradual flow on their last to, here, letting out all of their pent up demons with black metal along the lines of Von, Demoncy and Black Witchery, where everything is a blaze and the music is ultra primitive and similar all the way through.

The forethought that went into recording "Necro Imfamists of Tumulus Return" was probably as simple as buying a personalized home recording device, a few cheap microphones, cranking up the effects and pressing record. Each song can sound slightly different than the last, which can give off this on-the-spot type of delivery. Like they went in with more possessed feeling than with grand and diabolical ideas of how to get just the "right" sounds. There's no well-planned manipulation here, just an aura that's completely spontaneous. The filthy, midtoned guitars have points where the sound cuts out and wavers; the drums are more hi-hat and cymbals, with the bass drum and snare lower; and the vocals are all over the place with their dumped effects and delivery.

Impurity are going for sustaining trance: little variation, very few riffs per song and a similar tone per rhythm due to playing on what sounds to be only the top two strings. The music is one giant mistiming from the get-go and I wouldn't lose a wager in saying the incredibly sloppy, done-in-one-take nature was on purpose. Some songs have close competition with Von for who wins the crown of the most primitive, though the early Von demos at least had a metronome for a drummer and a listener could get locked in due to the band being somewhat symmetrical and ritualistic even with all of its unbalance or lack of variety. The vocals are unpredictable, at least that way someone never knows when they're coming or from which angle. They can resemble a throaty rasp to some that are more whispery. In a few songs it sounds like he's vocalizing through a pipe or funnel. Another hocks up phlegm between lines.

The music is so simplistic that I can't imagine it took Impurity beyond a week to compose and a single full moon night to record "Necro Imfamists of Tumulus Return." Typically bands that strip their composition down this much will at least throw away a lot of material till they get a certain one: that "one." Instead of this coming across like a spit in the eye to contemporary music, trendy bands even in the underground or filled with the epitome of dark atmosphere that's simple but returnable, it can feel incredibly lazy. Essentially, the central idea is mood, not musicianship, but the band still fell flat with the experimentation due to not getting selective enough on what they actually used and what they didn't throw away (apparently not much). The final result feels haphazard and empty, partly due to this being more a statement than anything to physically put on a pedestal. Some song writers have intuition, while others might have "good" ideas but when the time comes aren't able to translate to actualization. When I first heard this Impurity clicked on the first few songs, though in its entirety this was stripped so far down that, if it wasn't for this review, its playback value would have been a total of one time because after that it can feel tedious.