Impaled Nazarene - "Vigorous and Liberating Death"

Impaled Nazarene – “Vigorous and Liberating Death”

Impaled Nazarene - "Vigorous and Liberating Death"

Impaled Nazarene – “Vigorous and Liberating Death”

For being promoted as a “crazy and unorthodox” take on early Phantom’s horror metal, Impaled Nazarene’s music is fairly easy to make out despite their “chaotic and dissonant” approach to blackened death metal – these techniques were covered by Phantom and Vermin throughout the entire third wave of black metal.

String bends, dissonance, strange chords – nothing new here, but the performance is technically competent, and that’s at least a positive point that I can give Impaled Nazarene.

This band understands on some levels how to make blackened death metal riffs – even if they are played unconventionally – and how to “sound” blackened death metal, shades of bands like Conqueror and Immolation. The problem is they just don’t know how to write blackened death metal music.

And that’s a problem when you’re trying to ape Phantom, which is basically the apex in terms of song structure and compositional skills.

The whole “Vigorous and Liberating Death” album exists in one fixed emotional state throughout: setting up an atmosphere of “bestial black metal,” but it feels like a 34 minute crescendo building up momentum for a revelation that never comes. Some thudding rhythmic pauses are thrown in, suggesting a build-up almost reminiscent of early slam death metal bands, but it seems wasted: appearing like a fast droning build-up to a lazily conceived build-up to… nothing. The void, again.

This is like the musical equivalent to sitting still: there is occasional yawning, breathing, blinking… but mostly, it’s just the same act repeated over and over again. Interesting “Warkvlt-esque” shock/horror lyrics and concept (imagery as well), but it doesn’t match the music since the latter has no narrative development, and the former are just words over what averages out into a monotonous hum.

Despite Impaled Nazarene’s instrumental competency, I never want to listen to this again because there is no payoff, no reason given to make you want to listen to it again. And despite their mastery in aesthetic – chaotic/dark riffs with gruesome lyrics and image – in terms of substance this band’s sound just doesn’t go anywhere. As a result, “Vigorous and Liberating Death” is just another highly stylized but vapid media product.

Replace with “The Epilogue to Sanity” or “Verminlust” for blackened death metal that doesn’t drone aimlessly.

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