Sunday, 9 September 2012

Impiety - Ravage and Conquer


I've featured records by bands from all over the world, but one continent that has not been featured a lot is Asia. Metal is growing over there all the time, with everything from the hardcore scene's in Indonesia and Thailand, to the pockets of extreme metal that exist their. Impiety are one of the more well known bands from that region and these Singaporean black metallers releases Ravage and Conquer earlier this year, through revered extreme metal label Pulverised Records.

Tracklisting :-

1. Revelation Decimation
2. Ravage and Conquer
3. Weaponized
4. The Scourge Majesty
5. War Crowned
6. Legacy of Savagery
7. Salve The Goat
8. Sacrifice

Ravage and Conquer is Impiety's 8th full length and keeps this enduring quartet blasting along, with savage drumming and rousing guitar. It certainly is the type of metal that would call troops to war. The intro to album opener Revelation Decimation is all you need to hear! The instrument intro builds up for about two minutes, before the vocals kick in. This is black metal with a strong death metal influence. The drums keep up an impossible pace throughout, while the guitar pump out screeching solos and pinch harmonics, amongst the sinister passages that cut through the song. At eight minutes long, it is an intense opener too. The title ratchets up the evil brutality another notch. The riffs this time matching the drums for speed and Impiety go for a more instant hit straight from the off. This is a pretty extreme album and not one for the faint of heart, so it may be that only the hardest of extreme metal fans will find solace in this ungodly noise. I personally love it! I can only imagine the imagery and sound of this live.

Some people may argue that some of the songs here go on longer than they should, but after a while you do seem to slip into a trance, due to the sheer pace of drumming and the texture created by some of their effects. That incredible, screaming guitar solo rears its head again towards the end and all is well! Talking of screaming guitar, just check out Weaponized. Again, the brutality and the band never let's up. There are moments of off-kilter stabs and cleverly placed stop/starts to break up the speed, but the musicianship is utterly mesmerising. The guitar melodies that grace the mid-point of Weaponized give a sense of melody not heard in the previous tracks, but fit perfectly amongst the rest of the music. They don't water it down at all, but add to it. They even find time for some mid-paced death groove toward the end, in what is a varied song.

As you hit the midway point of Ravage & Conquer you realise that you're in it for the long haul. The Scourge Majesty is a sub six-minute slab of aural torture, in the best possible way! The symphonic touches remind you in no uncertain terms that this is indeed the devils music! War Crowned is a less varied song than The Scourge Majesty, but still strangely captivating. The vocals are audible and not screeched as some people might expect and the production does a great job of not letting it sound like a sludgy mess. All the instruments are clear and concise, but all fit together well when playing in unison. That subtle rocky groove also comes back towards the end, making for a surprising, but brief change in sound. Legacy of Savagery is the last long song on Ravage and Conquer, weighing in at almost eight minutes. At this point, the drumming has become numbing in a sense. I just can't believe how they keep up this level of ferocity throughout. This is where the band uses an extended solo to flesh out the song and brings some wailing respite, from the verses. In the second of the song there are hints at more traditional metal song structures, but these are only brief snippets and Impiety soon hit top gear again.

Salve The Goat and Sacrifice end this record, both the shortest songs on the record but both featuring plenty of variety again. Impiety don't stray to far from their own blueprint and let's face it, if it works why change. I've certainly enjoyed this album more than I thought I would do. It's fast, engaging and skillful. Those of you who already know and listen to Impiety will lap this up and those who are new to band will find things to like as well.

This entire album is streaming via Pulverised Record's bandcamp page:-

There you also have the option to buy both digital and physical copies of Ravage and Conquer.

Impiety are on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/impietyofficial and Pulverised Records can be found at http://www.facebook.com/pulverisedrecords.

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