Impious - Hellucinations
By Mark Hensch
With the disappointing and saddening demise
of death metal stalwarts The Crown, there is a gaping void to be filled
in the genre of Swedish death metal. As someone just starting to realize
the impact bands like The Crown had on the world of metal, I will try to
make few comparisons between The Crown and the band I am reviewing right
Impious plays some serious death metal.
Their newest album, the Metal Blade release Hellucinations, is chock full
of rocket launcher speed riffing and insane drumming that borders on the
downright inhuman. Throw in quick and to-the-point guitar solos and you've
got this album in a musical nutshell. Hellucinate is a release that panders
solely and purely to fans of metal in general, and swedish death metal
with a knack for grooves and guttural music in particular. Most other fans
of music will be turned off by this release as it is ten songs of death
metal and death metal only; there is no damn acoustic track, no filler,
or no "evolution of the band." This is for the purists only.
You'll be able to count yourself as either
a very devout metal fan or a person just in the wrong place in the wrong
time after only the first track. "Inject" spirals out like a tailspinning
helicopter with some spastic chugging riffs before launching into full
on speed riffing. A mind-melt of a solo will fry whatever brains you have
left by the end of the song, and the rest of the album hasn't even started
"Wicked Saints" is more straightforward
riffing and metal breakdowns, but everything is top-notch and the high
energy growls from most of the band gives the impression you are having
a schizophrenic breakdown while listening to a crazed soundtrack to the
end of the world.
"Infernique" is another good tune; the
guest vocals on this song for the chorus are a bit weak though as they
are high-pitched and cheezy, though they do harken to older heavy metal
in the 80's hair metal sense.
Title track "Hellucinations" is a standout,
and before the vocals have even started a mini-solo and some mega riffs
have assaulted your ears. The song evolves at warp-speed into a thrashing
beast that is out of its mind.
"Show Me Your God!" is less thrashy and
more groove-laden death metal with obvious religious overtones that should
be apparent from the song title alone. This sort of mocking undercurrent
has almost always been a staple of certain metal bands, and Impious is
no exception to that rule.
"Death_Wish_Scar" gator rolls in with some
manic riffing, wicked drums, and groove sensitive bass lines. The song
is a little bit weaker then most, but still serves a clear and present
purpose on the album, and does this by retaining an identity of sorts when
compared to the other tracks.
"Toxic Paranoia" is epic and operatic metal
condensed into somewhere around four minutes. Starting off with grandiose
power metal, the song speeds up and features various tempo changes; A definite
highlight song of the album indeed. "Needles Nervosa" is frantic thrashy
death metal that has some hanging solos that are seemingly influenced by
Gothenburg Death Metal, the more relaxed and melodic side of death.
"Bloodspill Revelation" is growl-laden
chaotic riffing and album closer "Suicide Park" is a strange, laid-back
intro with sinister samples and sound bites foretelling destruction and
holocaust, fire and brimstone. The band next goes into slo-mo death metal
epic writing territory, for an unusual and strange end to a good album.
This album borders on the conceptual as
it features song titles, lyrics, and album art seemingly reflecting some
kind of paranoia and insanity. The music itself is taken to a new level
by this theme (intentionally or by accident) as the music is often barely
controlled, wicked, and unstable. The riffing in particular is deranged
from the standpoint it is crazy fast to barely moving, wall of sound slow,
and the off-kilter growls scream "mental breakdown" in a way few bands
If you like straight-up death metal, the
kind that is visceral and mad in the basket if you know what I mean, Hellucinate
is a dang good freak out. If you don't, it's still worth a try; crazy music
always demands attention, and in the case of Impious and Hellucinate, this
band is no exception.
2. Wicked Saints
5. Show me your God!
7. Toxic Paranoia
8. Needles Nervosa
9. Bloodspill Revelation
10. Suicide Park
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