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Pure Metal: 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 now, Impious.

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 yet. 

"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 have before. 

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.
 



CD Info 

Impious - Hellucinations
Label: Metal Blade
Rating
 
Tracks:
1. Inject
2. Wicked Saints
3. Infernique
4. Hellucinations
5. Show me your God!
6. Death_Wish_Scar
7. Toxic Paranoia
8. Needles Nervosa
9. Bloodspill Revelation
10. Suicide Park
 
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