Impiety - _Skullfucking Armageddon_
(Dies Irae, 1999)
by: Alvin Wee (9 out of 10)
The Singaporean scene has been growing exponentially, and Impiety may have been a bastion of the scene since their inception in the late '80s, but nothing prepared me for the sheer power of this second full length of theirs. Judging from their past catalogue, it's unsurprising that _SA_ harks back to the days of Sodom and Sarcofago, their present incarnation far exceeding their previous efforts in ferocity and tightness. Transcending most of their countrymates, Impiety more than adequately display their years of experience; dropping much of the moderate death metal influence on their early works, they unleash a scorching torrent of old-school black metal speed and bone-crunching thrash riffs. As tracks like "Ironflames of Hate" amply demonstrate, Impiety show no lack of talent for combining pure aggression with aptly blazing solos; the blistering leads on this killer record must rank among the best I've heard in the genre. Lyrically, the band has traditionally been the butt of many a reviewer's joke, and this album is no different. While not offering much in the department of originality, Impiety's flowing stream of fury more than makes up for their shortcomings, and like retro-greats Aura Noir, they manage to get away with not-too-blatant plagiarism without sounding like Bewitched. "Torment in Fire" is undoubtedly the winning track, with the headbang-inducing "Ironflames of Hate" coming a close second. If _Black Thrash Attack_ is a modern classic for you, then _SA_ will definitely hold its ground in your collection.

Contact: Dies Irae, PO Box 337, Yishun Central, S(917612), Singapore

(article published 12/10/1999)

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