posted on 9/2008 By:
If you are big into black/death/thrash hybrids a la Bestial Mockery, you’re probably already plenty familiar with Impiety. This barbaric outfit from Singapore has been churning forth relentlessly intense extreme metal since the mid-90’s, and their worship of all things fast and evil has produced some great records in the past, particularly 2004’s excellent Paramount Evil. Following the band’s 18 Atomic Years Satanniversery compilation, Dominator is a brief, to-the-fucking-point EP of five tracks at fifteen minutes, and while the listener in me wants nothing more than to bow my head and sacrifice goats to the sheer metalness of Impiety, the critic in me is forced to point out some shaky elements that keep this release just shy of “must-buy” territory.
Shedding some of the raw feel and dynamics that made previous outings feel so threatening, Dominator is a very well produced exercise in speed, speed, and more speed, which is both a good and bad thing. The band has no problem writing some wicked black/thrash riffs, displayed proudly in songs like “Slaughterterror Superiority” and “The Black Vomit”, and the intense blackened vocals are perfectly suited to delivering the band's wonderfully campy lyrics (guess what they're about). Thing is, things feel a little too fast much of the time, and it turns what could have been five great songs into one long blur of blastbeats and the odd guitar solo. A metal-as-fuck blur, but a blur nonetheless. Whereas the guitars riff along at a fairly comfortable (though still speedy) gallop, the drums hog all of the attention with constant, unnecessary hyper-blasting and double bass that, while sounding great on its own, feels almost out of place with the kind of music and atmosphere that Impiety is trying to create. Now I know all of you are wondering how I could possibly describe an extreme metal band like this as “too fast”, but speed is really only effective when it matches the music it is pushing along. On these tracks, a little more taste and variety in the tempos would have done wonders in making these songs more noteworthy as compositions and less like a display of the drummer's instrumental prowess. And while the musicianship of the group is obviously high, there are numerous times when it sounds like the guitars are lagging behind slightly, struggling to keep up with the relentless pace of the drumming.
Despite this rather glaring misstep, this is still a very enjoyable EP for black and death metal fans (preferably both), and I’m sure there are many of you out there that can’t get enough of the light-speed tempos and ridiculous blasting provided here. Perhaps I was hoping for a more notable thrash influence to show itself akin to some of the band’s earlier releases rather than the blazing black/death hybrid that Impiety are offering this time around, but the fact remains that I think Dominator could have been much improved with a little more emphasis on ripping guitarwork and less on overbearing drumming chops. Still, I recommend this to existing Impiety fans and anyone wanting something quick, brutal, and blasphemous. I mean, they named their intro track “Introbliteration.” What more do you need then that?
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