Impiety - _Ravage and Conquer_
(Pulverised Records, 2012)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (7 out of 10)
Yes, it is true. Extreme metal comes from Singapore. To some of us, this is a common fact, but to most it is a bit of a surprise. Southeast Asia is currently building a heavy metal culture with a greater number of bands receiving critical attention. The same people that were surprised once may even be shocked to learn the Singapore underground stretches back to the late '80s with vicious examples of thrash, black and death. 2012 sees the release of _Ravage and Conquer_ by black/death act Impiety. To conclude with surprises, Impiety celebrates their eleventh full length album as well as their 21st release in nearly two decades of existence. If anyone was doubting the presence of extreme metal in Singapore, Impiety is ready to remind us with relentless brutality and hellish chaos.

In all honesty, a biography and feature length film could be written on the life and existence of Impiety. Through more line-up changes than humanly possible, vocalist Shyaithan has endured impressive triumphs and equally dazzling defeat. Impiety's history is littered with failed tours, incarcerated band members and collaborations with black metal innovators both local and abroad. _Ravage and Conquer_ seems less like a record and more like a firm statement of solidarity and stubborn refusal. Fuck you, we are not going anywhere.

As to drive the previous statement home, _Ravage and Conquer_ is relentless in its execution of black/death. There seems to be nothing more important that the constant torrent of double kick and harsh vocals. A visual representation of production would involve a giant drum kit in a closet with guitar and bass cramped in the same space. The percussion overtakes the entire production on with both guitar and bass playing an unholy game of badminton. Though jarring at first, Impiety locks its listeners into a groove and thus starts a journey unheard for many years.

Impiety fits into a certain group of bands resurrecting the visual aesthetic of black metal's first wave combined with the aural assault of death. Lyrical themes usually involve blasphemy, war and general mayhem. Whether or not this group has a silly name connected to an animal is not needed for conversation. What is important is Impiety and these other acts are celebrating a sometimes forgotten branch of black metal. Passing up the trees and snow, black metal returns to the fire and heat of bestial breathe.

A feature length article could be written on contemporary Asia Pacific extreme metal. Singapore, in general, is an interesting origin for underground metal. The progressive attitudes on religion and expression have allowed for many bands to flourish compared to their island neighbors. 2011 saw the release _Dirge_ from grindcore act Wormrot. _Dirge_ was important as it showed the rest of the world that Southeast Asian metal can be as fierce and original as its western counterparts. Impiety's _Ravage and Conquer_ is not as stellar of a record, but still holds importance and critical weight. Singapore's nearly forgotten metal innovators would be happy to see the face of its current evolution. While most of these bands still toil in obscurity, some can be heard from at least a thousand miles away.

(article published 6/5/2012)


ALBUMS
11/7/2008 J Ulrey 7.5 Impiety - Dominator EP
12/26/2003 Q Kalis 7.5 Impiety - Kaos Kommand 696
10/12/1999 A Wee 9 Impiety - Skullfucking Armageddon
6/7/1997 S Hoeltzel 5 Impiety - Asateerul Awaleen
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