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Impious
Holy Murder Masquerade
August 2007
Released: 2007, Metal Blade
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Hanntu

Impious have pretty much operated below my radar, which is surprising, considering they’ve been around since 1994. They’re a pretty young band as well, with the average age around the late 20s and early 30s. I’m glad to have finally made their acquaintance however on HOLY MURDER MASQUERADE, because although they haven’t released a masterpiece, they have made a very competent record that won’t do them any harm at all.



On the music alone, this is pretty normal death/thrash stuff from the Swedish boys. It’s heavy, make no mistake about it, and guaranteed to have you headbanging in no time. The vocals are very forceful, in fact everything about the record is in-your-face. A very clean production with focus on clarity and balance means that you hear everything they want you to hear. The drumming and riffing is pretty awesome, with time changes galore, and the drummer showing great variety. There are weird Spanish-influenced breaks on “Three of One”, I don’t really know how it fits into the story, I suppose it just sounds cool and it breaks up the slight monotony that is inevitable on a death/thrash effort.



Speaking of the story, that’s what sets this record apart slightly from the rest. HOLY MURDER MASQUERADE is a concept album, and it tells the story of a murderer who suffers religious delusions. The story itself pretty well told (utilising the first person narrative view, and also interludes from news reports etc and other sound effects), but the highlight must be the liner notes. Instead of merely printing the lyrics, Impious have employed the comic strip style – very Sin City-like! The lyrics are in speech bubbles, and illustrations flesh (ha ha) out the story further, as if the listener needed any help. I couldn’t help finding it quite funny that the spoken narration (ie telling the story from the murderer’s point of view) sounds exactly like the narrator in movie trailers, which was the subject of parody by stand-up comedian Pablo Francisco. Thankfully, the spoken parts don’t appear very often, else I’d be cracking up every now and then, which is not the effect you’re looking for when listening to an account of a deathly serious journey into a madman’s psyche.



All in all, it’s a solid album, and that’s not damning with faint praise. Impious are seasoned veterans in spite of their age, and they will be rightly proud of what is a pretty good record. I’d actually like to see how these songs translate to the live environment, it would be a pretty amazing experience all round.
Track Listing

1. The Confession
2. Bound To Bleed (For A Sacred Need)
3. T.P.S.
4. Bloodcraft
5. Holy Murder Masquerade
6. Death on Floor 44
7. Slaughtertown Report
8. Three of One
9. Everlasting Punishment
10. Purified By Fire
11. Dark Closure

Lineup

Martin Åkesson - Vocals
Valle Daniel Adzic - Guitar
Robin Sörqvist - Guitar
Erik Peterson - Bass
Mikael Norén - Drums

Other reviews

» Terror Succeeds
by Michael De Los Muertos

» Helluncinate
by JP

» Hellucinations
by Gabriel C. Zolman

» Holy Murder Masquerade
by Hanntu

» Holy Murder Masquerade
by Waspman


Next review: » Impious - Holy Murder Masquerade
Previous review: » Impious - Helluncinate

Impious
Holy Murder Masquerade
September 2007
Released: 2007, Metal Blade Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Much like the plague of metalcore bands and Gothenburg-influenced melodic death metal bands seems to never end today, back in the mid-‘90s there was a massive glut of Entombed / Dismember-influenced melodic death metal bands. Of course, most of those are long gone today (hopefully the metalcore brigade of today follows suit!), but a few survived. One, Sweden’s Impious has been steadily releasing albums since 1998. Formed in 1994, the band has 5 full-lengths to their credit, and seems to be just hitting their stride, now 13 years into their career.

Sure, melodic death metal is a pretty static genre – most bands don’t venture outside the parameters set by the progenitors 16 years ago. Still, it’s an enjoyable genre when done with conviction, and Impious has that in spades! From the first seconds of “The Confession”, HOLY MURDER MASQUERADE is a rip-roaring assault on the ears, lovingly spiced with catchy riffs and melodic guitars. Of course, Impious knows when to set guitars to shred – witness the assault of “T.P.S.” and “Death On Floor 44”. Yes, it’s all been done before, but there’s just something so refreshing about this album that I can’t help but love it. The sincerity of the music, the band’s obvious love of their craft, and the knowledge gained through experience all adds up to an impressive album that I keep coming back to again and again.

What’s more, the booklet that adorns this album is by far one of the most creative I’ve ever seen. HOLY MURDER MASQUERADE is a particularly twisted concept album, and it’s brought life with a stark comic book-styled insert, with each page representing one of the album’s 11 songs. While minimal, it’s an intriguing, original work that heightens enjoyment of the album.

I can’t give this album the full 5/5, just because it is so imitative of its predecessors, but at the same time it’s the best Swedish death metal I’ve heard in a long time. Highly recommended.
Track Listing

1) The Confession
2) Bound To Bleed (For A Sacred Need)
3) T.P.S.
4) Bloodcraft
5) Holy Murder Masquerade
6) Death On Floor 44
7) Slaughtertown Report
8) Three Of One
9) Everlasting Punishment
10) Purified By Fire
11) Dark Closure

Lineup

Martin Akesson: Vocals
Valle Daniel Adzic: Guitar
Robin Sorqvist: Guitar
Erik Peterson: Bass
Mikael Noren: Drums

Other reviews

» Terror Succeeds
by Michael De Los Muertos

» Helluncinate
by JP

» Hellucinations
by Gabriel C. Zolman

» Holy Murder Masquerade
by Hanntu

» Holy Murder Masquerade
by Waspman


Next review: » Impious - Terror Succeeds
Previous review: » Impious - Helluncinate





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