Artist: Impetuous Ritual
Album: Blight upon Martyred Sentience
Label: Profound Lore Records
Release Date: June 16, 2017
It took me a while to process the latest from these Austrialian death metal proliferators. I got it shortly after it was released, and liked it, but soon put it aside as more new material came rolling in. Something prompted me to revisit it in the last little while, and fortunately so; I’ve realized what a goddamned monster this is.
First, I don’t usually have good things to say about seven-minute long intros, but ‘Void Cohesion’ is pure mastery of dread, a tense build up that feels like the floor could give out from under you at any moment. Levelling out towards the end, it beguiles a false sense of security before the album violently explodes into a feral, visceral form of death metal.
Impetuous Ritual’s disharmonious approach is one that feels like walls are closing in. Structure is a loose concept; “Blight upon Martyred Sentience” is rife with blasting accompanied by contorting riffs, but is also prone to sudden halts of undulating guitar. Passages of slow riffs underpinned by plodding double bass sound like you’re listening to the album in reverse, before it gets jammed back into a spiraling descent. Hideous chanting peppers tracks like ‘Intransience’ and ‘Void Cohesion,’ the voice of an eyeless cult adept at the blackness native to them. The very sound itself somehow manages to sound decrepit and ruinous, like the abandoned, excrescent offspring of a genetic experiment that carelessly spilled the DNA of Portal, Incantation, Abruptum and Bestial Warlust into the same test tube.
Impetuous Ritual have mastered the sense of claustrophobia put to sound and I have no hesitation in proclaiming this to be their best effort to date. “Blight upon Martyred Silence” builds on the past two albums, and impressively so; everything is bigger, deeper, darker. It’s long been a cliché to say that a death metal album sounds like darkness, but in the case of “Blight upon Martyred Silence,” there really is no better descriptor. It constantly feels like it’s violently moving you – making you fall precipitously, jerking you backwards, shoving you forwards, forcing you to crawl. But wherever it may be leading you there, it is always, always through total and utter darkness.
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