Holy Murder Masquerade
Release date: January 19th 2007
Label: Metal Blade Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Style: Thrash / Death Metal
Rating: 84/100
Artwork rating: 90/100
Reviewed by: Claus Melsen
Date: February 6th 2007

In the promotion material for this sixth album from Swedish Impious, it’s called death/thrash metal, and as I’m not mad keen on the death-stuff (to me it generally sounds like everybody’s supposed to play as fast as humanly possible, and a guy with a throat disease growls some not understandable guttural sounds) my expectations were not sky high. But were I surprised? Yes indeed!

This is much more thrash style the hard way; mixed with elements of death, doom, hardcore, and even parts with acoustic guitar. The very varied style of composing makes the album interesting almost all the time through all 10(+1) tracks. They kick off with something that reminds me of old Testament with a melody, moving on to walking tempo on the title track and ends up in the fast lane at the end of the album, all the time keeping true to the general sound and style of the band.

Most of the recordings are made in their own studio, and the sound is great and very professional, leaving room for all to be heard, and to play their part. I’m not impressed by the shouter/growler though – to me he has pretty much the same “tone” of voice and phrasing the whole record through, but the rest of the guys really deliver: a strong rhythm section, both rhythmic and melodic guitars, and very nice solos, so the general impression is very good.

This is a concept album of a day in a religious twisted serial killers life. The very bloody story is underlined and supported by voice actors for the speaking parts, and in the booklet that is made like a comic book, illustrated in airy paintings by Italian horror comic artist Andrea Cavalatto, with the lyrics in speech balloons – a very original idea that works really well with the concept. In this concept the music, the lyrics and the artwork works together to give a joint experience.

Recommended tracks: "The Confession", "Holy Murder Masquerade" and "Three Of One".