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Holy Murder Masquerade

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Album Review

For their fifth full-length album, Swedish death metal collective Impious went the conceptual route, building the songs around a protagonist intent on proving to the world that he is the true "servant of God." It's an all too common theme for the genre, and the blood and brutality that follow aren't nearly as shocking as they think they are, but what sets this vision apart from the myriad of others is the gorgeous 23-page comic book by Italian horror artist Andrea Cavaletto (take that, downloaders). It's like a storybook for evil grownups, and it makes listening to Holy Murder Masquerade a lot more fun. Musically, Impious specialize in pretty standard melodic death metal (even when the band turns to thrash for its inspiration, it never does so atonally), but the production is tight, clean, and unforgiving, and the playing reliable and at times quite cathartic, especially on the crushing "Bloodcraft" and the epic title cut. Holy Murder Masquerade won't change the face of Swedish metal, but it definitely knocks it around a bit.


Formed: April, 1994 in Trollhättan, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the numerous death metal bands that came out of Scandinavia in the '90s, Impious have never been known for subtlety, restraint, or understatement; in fact, just the opposite is true. The Swedish outfit has earned a reputation for offering stereotypically ferocious death metal -- harsh, dense, blistering, claustrophobic, Slayer-influenced music that can send a mosh pit into overdrive and leave listeners feeling totally drained. Impious are not part of the trends that have been described as...
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Holy Murder Masquerade, Impious
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