Throne of Sacrilege/Impurium – Unleashing a Cacophony of Destruction (Orchestrated Misery Recordings)Tuesday, 30th September 2014
Even though metal isn’t the most exorbitantly priced of all musical genres, quite the opposite in fact, it’s still great when a listener can discover two young bands for the price of one. And in a move that harkens back to vintage black metal acts of the early ’90s, Throne of Sacrilege and Impurium have partnered up for a split record that provides that very experience. With lo-fi production values, barbarous blasting, and blasphemous lyrics in tow, both outfits deliver a moderately enjoyable, if pretty banal, outing.
Throne of Sacrilege kicks things off with three tracks firmly rooted in the more aggressive side of black metal, preferring shrieking rapid-fire brutality in the vein of Marduk and Dark Funeral over sprawling atmospheres. Each song in itself is a completely serviceable listen, but when marathoning the tracks, the formulism of the songwriting becomes apparent, with each number following a more traditional songwriting structure that starts with blistering speed, transitions to a half-time bridge punctuated by a chaos solo, then accelerates for one last barrage. Such an approach isn’t inherently bad, but the lack of deviation, especially in light of the straightforward approach that doesn’t delve into any new ideas, may descend into tedium for some.
Impurium picks up after halftime with denser tracks reflecting a blunter production style and digging more frequently into death metal’s bag of tricks. With the exception of the headbang-inducing, Viking metal-ish opening riff of “Ad Secular Impurium,” though, the songwriting generally fails to compel. While certainly not lacking in aggression, the streamlined riffs don’t offer much variation and frequently fall into “been there, done that” territory.
Both contributing units on this record serve their subgenres well in regard to following the requisite tropes, but the lack of risk taking, experimentation, and/or innovation yields a pretty flat result despite the incessant pummeling. Whether these bands decide to branch out stylistically will be determined in due course, but for now, their offerings will primarily whet the appetite of an extreme metal enthusiast for something a bit more fulfilling.