It seems a fair few bands are crawling out the woodwork having not released a full-length album for a fair while this year and it is a pleasure to welcome back Singapore war machine Impiety who we last heard from with ‘Ravage And Conquer’ in 2012. Not that they have been completely quiet in the last 8 years as there have been a slew of live albums, compilations, splits etc, only ‘The Imperious Crusade’ making it over to us via Hell’s Headbangers though. It was also 2012 since imposing and at the time bald front-man Shyaithan brought his troops over to destroy our shores and he is now back with a full head of hair and drummer Dizazter and guitarist Iszar. I have always considered Impiety to be more of a death than black metal and bordering on the war metal side of things than anything else and Verses All Gods solidifies that particular stance as far as I am concerned. Again it proves that they are up there with the best of them, intense, powerful and extreme as hell itself, which makes for a ferocious and dynamic new album.
I’m not one who minds a good intro and ‘Kommand IX’ signifies ninth album with an interesting piece that starts futuristically before moving into an almost medieval piece of dungeon synth. Stirring and austere and composed by Wenceslas Carrieu of Necrowretch it paves the way for the band to pile into things with an explosive ballast doing exactly what is described and ‘Reigning Armageddon’ like the true rightful Kings of Asian metal. Death belches echo, drums thunder and bass fills out the bottom end. The guitar work and solos are thorny and spiral about with zeal and technical precision which fans of bands such as old Morbid Angel and Krisiun will be soiling themselves over. Play it loud and bang your heads, you don’t need to worry about getting lost in occult narrative the themes pretty much speak for themselves in most cases. The whirlwind tsunami of an uncorked jar tears you apart as ‘Djinn of All Djinns’ is unleashed; 3 wishes and containment of destructive powers the last thing you can consider as it blazes into you; there is little in way of compromise, hanging on for grim life is about all you can do. Melody is strong amidst the tumult however and the guitars despite creating pure chaos pepper the music with memorable motifs as the singer barks over things like an all destructive force. Churning up the ground having wasted the desert the ‘Barbarian Black Horde’ charges with “thirst for war” and destroy all they encounter in breath-taking flair and fashion. There’s some cool-squealing guitarwork as this twists and turns at such force it is practically tearing itself apart. The devilish mischief of ‘Azazel’ proves the old Satanic masters are still very much in fashion and this demonic fist-pumper does a fine job of reminding you.
Designed for vinyl there is a surprise and a pause as one would flip the wax in the form of another short intro piece of macabre piano work (funnily enough the second brutal album in a row I have reviewed with one). ‘Inviktus Satanikus’ does its job before the second half gets properly underway ‘Terror Occult Dominion’ launched on a battering barrage of drums and bruising tempest. This is possibly the catchiest number with a memorable short guitar motif peppering the unkempt force and really sticking in your head. At times the guitar playing is nothing short of sublime and the combined weight of the trio really proves all forces working with incredible co-ordination. “Fuck” indeed, the antichrist arrives on ‘Dajjal United’ as if there wasn’t enough on the album already trying to destroy us! I’m not sure if you would describe them as death belches or coughs, it sounds like a furball is being spat out by Shyaithan before the universe implodes on ‘Interstellar Deathfuck,’ it’s almost happy and jubilant in execution and must be an excellent number live. I hope we get the chance to witness it. There’s even a sudden touch of femininity provided by a vocal chant from Henriette Bordvik (Abyssic), thrown in for good measure, on what has grown into my favourite track on the album. I realise now I have mentioned every song whilst this plays and I write along and this just leaves ‘Magickal Wrath’ to conjure up the conclusion; the final spell naturally a force to be reckoned with and leaving all gods either destroyed of cowering in supplication.
Released digitally in 2019 and physically on Jan 20th you can listen to the whole album via the Bandcamp link below and witness just why Impiety are still top of their league almost 3 decades into their sterling career.
(8.5/10 Pete Woods)