Impure – Satan’s Eclipse (2019) REVIEW

With the grime of rotting oil-presses wafting up into the dread of the cenaculum news of the coming excruciation thickens the nights air. In breaching the light of day all manner of false mysticism is erased by implements of state-sanctioned thorn, spear, and nail. To know the glory of a very public murder by the hands of men, soldier and citizen alike is a treasure no longer afforded to the craven-but-deserving masses. Oh, to be one of the many who’d take noble swipes at agonizing the flesh of the fabled lie of ‘Christ’. What greater satisfaction it’d bring in hindsight, melting him to a bloody mush that’d hang off the bone between numerous crowd-sourced beatings. If only the extensive gore of the Bible were more than just pornography for the sadistic sort of person who’d ever fall for the idiocy of the Christian farce. Who’d truly died and suffered in opposition to ‘God’ is where the adoration of the people should lie today; It is that of the great prosecutor, the great red dragon Satan, tortured for one thousand years and cast into fire is He who knows true suffering for his convictions and faces eternal rebirth among the hearts and minds of men today. Whatever parable you might use to describe the evil and ‘immoral’ tendency within mankind’s nature as a freakishly sentient mammalian species it is most important to note that it is dominant; That the very species is death incarnate and our continued existence is proof of ‘Satan’s Eclipse’ as men multiply and bring greater suffering to this wretched, suffocating terrarium of the Impure.

Mastery among the most diabolical humanity today exists in a constantly redefined state as we gorge upon the flesh of innocents without discrimination but the old ways, the dark templates of the past yet prove their ultimate power in the hands of persistent ritualists and lo the rise of this unreal United States black/death duo Impure and their mutilation of all piety. Occult spiritual by sight yet tyrannical and deleterious in motion, the smoke and ash stinking aggress of ‘Satan’s Eclipse’ is momentarily draped in mystic fog as it introduces; That curious dance forward is alluring, a soundtrack to ancient times that’d briefly foreshadow a harrowing adventure forth. The serpent’s scales glint as the fog lifts and sprays of evaporative fire-breath quickly reveal a writhing lake of fire that’d joyfully spill across the remains of a freshly dead Earth. Elastic riff and bellowing roar characterize the incredible first impression of this New York by way of Missouri duo who’d fuse black and death metal spiritus together as if it were 1988. And this should be no great surprise considering the duo itself, comprised of Horned Father of Desecreation who is best known for his solo project Spite, and wildly inventive guitarist Satyrannical Lord of Assault who most notably produced the first Pilgrim record. There is much to expect in terms of classic ‘Under the Sign of the Black Mark’ era black metal from this line-up that is delivered upon but I wasn’t necessarily prepared for the exceptional integration of old and new death metal influences that explode from the guitar performances throughout ‘Satan’s Eclipse’.

The expectation could easily become some sort of war metal based on that description and to be sure there is some semblance of pre-’94 Beherit, Deathwomb, and perhaps early Archgoat (alternately Embrace of Thorns) in the verve of those ‘old school’ black/death metal twists and righteous turns but, the pulse of this release isn’t so purely black and red. Because I’d been wrapped up in Concrete Winds‘ primitive extremity at the same time I saw some of this album appealing to the same 1988-ish era of extreme metal where bands like Blood Spill, Necrovore, Slaughter Lord and Sarcófago were bending the prisms of darkness that separated black and death metal at the time. From that point the guitar work recalls Whore‘s ‘Whore Tape’, Repugnant, and perhaps more closely Verminous‘ most rabid first album, ‘Impious Sacrilege’, if it had embraced Death‘s debut more than Morbid Angel‘s. At some point even more modern references are made and perhaps several that I’d overlook by the sheer will of a thousand bands in the blender of my mind but the overall effect is memorably achieved black/death metal the way it was done in the late 80’s, with pure heavy metal and speed metal as structural guidance.

Depending on your own taste you might look back at the select releases that Dismember‘s Fred Estby has produced or mixed in the last two decades and find Impure not only impeccably engineered but among good company with several distinct recordings from Morbus Chron, In Solitude, Grand Magus, Repugnant and so forth. The sound and ‘ancient anew’ balance of ‘Satan’s Eclipse’ is inspired. Now, I don’t have the details on what each guest contributor has provided for this catchy, bounding, and gloriously textural ‘old school’ black/death metal attack but the major hint is that they’re all guitarists between the indomitable Chuck Keller (Ares Kingdom), Arild Torp (Obliteration), Henrik Palm (ex-In Solitude) and Jonathan Hultén (Tribulation) and as you can see, some of the finest musicians of the last several decades. This surely accounts for at least some of the exceptional guitar work throughout ‘Satan’s Eclipse’ but with no discredit to Satyrannical Lord of Assault, as at least a third of these songs were written in sessions for Impure‘s two demos in 2018. What pricked the corners of my mind while I was lost and loving the full listen of this album for the last couple of months was my own unsure feeling that I was listening to something equally 80’s in spirit but also appropriately modern at the same time. The distinction between false constructs of era specific sub-genre niche is somewhat meaningless to begin with but, the amorphous qualities of Impure‘s style was appreciable.

Staff, guests, style, expectations, and other nonsense don’t amount to much when living with a record in your collection and to be clear the reason to buy ‘Satan’s Eclipse’ is its memorable songwriting and severe black/death riffing. These are rabidly atmospheric death metal songs delivered as if heavily touched by first wave black metal’s clever heavy rock sensibilities that often capture Quorthon‘s timeless sense of atmospheric dread; It is as much as you’d expect from the fellow responsible for ‘Antimoshiach’ but still somewhat of a surprise in terms of my own extremist radar. The deep-growled and echoing war metallic gust of the shorter songs (“Satyrranical Desecration”, “Demonic Urge”) often have this, punkish spirit shared with Nekrofilth whereas the longer, more atmospheric arrangements (“Inexorable Darkness”, Danse of the Slaughtered Cherubs”) lean towards mid-paced black/heavy metal dirges in spirit. These two modes of movement are well explored throughout the album’s 36 minute length but Impure are at their most effective when combining those two strengths (“Death Secretion”, “Sorceress Maelstrom”, “Black Ovum”).

An admirable dance of variation results in the full listen but I’d begun to wonder what they might accomplish if trading the war metallic intensity of certain pieces for extended compositions. Either way, I see great potential even beyond this fantastic debut. Managing such a frenzy amidst stomping black metal numbers and some bounding ‘modern’ rhythms is impressive and I can very highly recommend Impure’s debut based almost entirely on how listenable it is. At once point I couldn’t stop listening to it long enough to write down my thoughts. For preview I’d say go for the most ‘catchy’ tracks first if you’re not already sold, starting with “Sorceress Maelstrom” and then the pairing of “Engaged in Morbid Ecstasy” and “Demonic Urge”.

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Artist Impure
Type Album
Released July 5, 2019
BUY & LISTEN on Chaos Records’ Bandcamp! Impure’s Website
Genre Death Metal,
Black Metal

Transfixed by glorious sin. 4.5/5.0

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