Impious is one of many elite death/thrash bands to come out of Sweden during the mid-late 90s and they are still ripping it up in full force in 2009. As pretty much one of the last records of the year, this is probably going to be overlooked on the grand scheme of thing, but I think this album deserves a serious examination.
Death Domination, as I have said of many records before, is nothing you haven’t heard before. Swedish-style death metal, fast and pretty melodic, but brutal enough that it puts a lot of the Gothenburg bands to shame. This isn’t Swedish death metal like In Flames, but instead like Demiurg or Hypocrisy. And the record is a blinder. Clocking in at about 36 minutes long, it’s also reminiscent of the new Vader record, which was also a highlight this year.
And really, there are some stand-out tracks on here. “And the Empire Shall Fall” exhibits a band that is keenly aware of composition and building, as well as heavy riffing, while “Legions” rocks out Nile at its own game with a killer primary theme that sounds pretty Egyptian. Actually, “Legions” is probably my favorite track on the album and definitely shows smart, old school composition style with a strong theme and a catchy chorus (something that few death metal bands ever do with any skill). “Legions” is followed by another outstanding track (“As Death Lives in Me”) and finally, when the album reaches its final track (“Irreligious State of War”), you’re not ready for this album to end.
Death Domination has a lot of strengths. The riffing is tight and brutal, the drums sound real and are well-produced with a good bassy sound (no obvious triggers). The record is littered with awesome groove and a great vocal performance. And actually, the opposite of the new Vader, I was actually really pleased with the guitar soloing on here. What there was for guitar soloing was solid, melodic and well-composed. This is a band that despite its long tenure isn’t losing much pace.
Another fine addition to the legacy of Swedish death, Death Domination is worth your time and money.