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CD Review: Impious – Holy Murder Masquerade

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impious holymurdermasquerade 1Impious' Holy Murder Masquerade has amazingly ingenious liner notes. They take the form of a comic book, with the lyrics as speech and thought balloons. The album tells the story of a one-day killing spree by a man beset with inner demons. Hollywood material this ain't, and the plot is somehow both simplistic and confusing, but the visuals perfectly illustrate it. The otherwise banal lyrics really come to life in this context.

Musically, the album is strong, solid death metal – imagine a cross between later God Dethroned and Marco Aro-era Haunted. Thus, the sound is fairly conservative, but tailormade for headbanging. The riffs are melodic, with the occasional shredding solo. It's unclear which came first, the concept or the music, but the latter tightly matches the lyrics. There are even a few cinematic interludes, complete with professional voice actors! Impious' previous album, Hellucinate, was a fierce jolt of thrash-inflected death metal; the intensity is slightly lower here. Most likely the band focused on fitting the songs to the story, as the album clocks in at a crisp 38 minutes.

Impious has yet to reach the name recognition of its Swedish peers, but this album should change that. The music hits hard, the production is clear and heavy, and the visual presentation is brilliant. If record labels want people to buy, not download, CD's, they should take notice of this one. It practically forces one to read along!


Impious on MySpace
Metal Blade Records

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