Impious Holy Murder Masquerade

Wrapped up in the pretty cool comic book-style artwork that walks the listener through this album’s storyline (which, as far as metal storylines go, isn’t half-bad), Sweden’s Impious have delivered a pretty decent thrash/death album. Basically a heavy-handed version of Slayer by way of classic Swedish death, Impious never sacrifice memorable riffs for death metal pummel. Take away the growling vocals and ultra-bass-heavy production and this is classic, speedy thrash. Comparisons to the Crown come fast and furious, and it’s no surprise that the band features an ex-member of One Man Army and the Undead Quartet (the ex-Crown death’n’roll outfit) in their ranks, as well as a couple of ex-members of, oddly enough, the Crown. So let it be written so let it be done, Impious have taken the best of both worlds and crafted an album sure to get many heads banging. Ultimately, despite each song being a rager in its own right, the album does start to get a bit monotonous during the last third, and considering it’s only 37 minutes, that’s a problem. But man, there’s something about the band’s no-frills style that you just have to respect. (Metal Blade)