Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: Impetuous Ritual - Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence (Profound Lore)

When I first heard Impetuous Ritual's form of death metal I wasn't ready. I had of course heard Portal and I was searching for more music treading the same cacophonous path, but Impetuous Ritual were different. Gone were the theatrics, the hoods (and clocks) all that was left was pure unhinged death metal. It took some time getting used to but after forcing myself to listen to the ilk of Relentless Execution of Ceremonial Excrescence over and over it became a cornerstone of my listening habits. Portal comparisons are obvious (due to the sharing of members) but Impetuous Ritual achieve something different, something more sinister in intention. Their intentions are quite clear, complete suffocating devastation. Guitars play jagged horrific riffs, drums crash along with equal parts ferocity and technicality while bass provides a throbbing low end to the murk. With their new album Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence the band not only continues down this path but pushes the sonic boundaries of death metal even further.

Density is key to the Impetuous Ritual formula, every single song on the album is packed with layers upon layers of guitars, providing the album with nearly harsh noise levels of density. The atmosphere is smothering, created by horribly twisted and repetitive instrumentation. The band takes death metal and deconstructs it, until all that's left is a teeming mass of riffs, representing death metal at it's most abstract and unfiltered. Impetuous Ritual take the already repugnant genre and make it even more so, it's dangerous, unpredictable, and disjointed. Occasionally twisted guitar solos rise over the primordial fury, frantically cutting through the thick riffing and further adding to the unsettling aura of the album. 

The first three tracks of the album all follow a similar formula, one of sheer intensity. There is no reprieve, the band continuously bludgeons the listener until the crawling doom of "Despair" interrupts the sheer madness for only a moment, beginning with a doomy rhythmic opening before abruptly descending back into tremolo-picked chaos. The next track "Inservitude of Asynchronous Duality" begins with a warlike, processional opening of poundings drums and swirling, repetitive riffs before sinking into utter madness. Vocalist Ignis Fatuus utilizes a multitude of vocal stylings on this track, deep grunts, harsh growls, piercing shrieks, and demented barking. Impetuous Ritual's deranged approach is at times accompanied simple accent elements like the tolling of a bell in the track "Metastasis" which adds to the intense ritualistic atmosphere that Impetuous Ritual conjure. The album comes to an end with "Blight" a nearly fifteen minute long onslaught of doom drenched death metal evil. The final track pushes the jagged experimentalism of the album to it's peak, chanting is utilized to add to the ominous ambience, guitars writhe and squirm while drums plod forward menacingly. The album closes with a droning guitar passage, an eerie ending to this monolith of death metal.

On Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence Impetuous Ritual succeed in deconstructing death metal into something horrifically barbaric yet intellectual and abstract. Combining suffocating atmosphere and unrelenting brutality to create something completely otherworldly. The album can be purchased through Profound Lore here

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