Released: 2004, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
This fantastically narcotic Thrash/Death record is at times inspired, and at times derivative, but always swift, aggressive, and intensely entertaining. With more Death Metal influence than the average Post-Thrash act, Impious is perhaps closer to the Crown/Defleshed camp than the Haunted/Carnal Forge crowd. Euro melodies creep in and out now and again (such as the staggering “Infernique”), but never take the center stage. That place is reserved strictly for violence.
With incredibly sharp riffing in the King & Hanneman vein, the production is the finest that the band has been allotted. Every instrument shines. The bass is perfectly mixed, while bludgeoning guitars fight the vocalist for dominance in the mix. In the end, it is an entertaining battle wherein everybody wins.
While the album is powerfully stacked with straight thrashers like “Needle Nervosa,” and Death Metal stompers like “Bloodspell Revelation,” diversity is achieved now and again. The slow churning rape and pillage of tracks like “Toxic Paranoia” and the Haunted-like endcap of “Suicide Park” are prime examples of attempts to stretch their sound. Not every effort succeeds, however; the mid-tempo “Show Me Your God!” fails to carry the power of it confrontational lyrics, with the vocals being particularly strained.
Highlights include the neck-snapping title cut, with its lightning-fast crescendo, and the pounding Death/Thrash roar of “Wicked Saints,” which boasts effective usage of a multi-layered vocal style. The full-throttle chugging of “Death_Wish_Scar” brings to mind a more savage Callenish Circle, or Aura Noir.
All in all, Impious is one of the most criminally overlooked bands on the Metal Blade roster. Fans of Thrash and Death Metal should go out of their way to check this out.