Impia - Our Failures Become Us

Despite how much my ballooning ego would have me think I am a reviewer of music I rarely feel the need to address the qualities of an album unless something really stands out to me; usually summing up my thoughts on an album in the same concise fashion that you would answer exam questions where you remove every other conjunction to save space. And that's usually because I'm often somewhere between apathetic and "yeah, it's alright" on the Scale Of Musical Sexiness™ and even when a supermodel comes along I'm usually inclined to let the music speak for itself. And when I listened to the latest release by Impia, I felt almost obliged to write up a review. So, meandering slowly towards the point and an actual review, Impia started with a relatively ish self titled demo; the most noticeable unpleasant feature of it being the loud effect at the start which made my ears fucking hurt. Not cool, guys. It's not that it was bad, but it wasn't memorable and had nothing to say for itself as much more than a tribute to Sunn O))) and Mournful Congregation and it was very lacking in subtlety; the first track just going all out, and the second having that synth in it which made me want to bash my head against the wall after a couple of minutes. Anywhoo, this EP seems to display a development in structure and also consideration of dynamics. Opening with feedback which, frankly, I could listen to on a loop for a good hour or two, it begins with some nice droning chords and a very, very nice bass sound. Something which I immediately noticed was that the bass is, to me at least, the head honcho in Impia: the drums and guitar following it in a way which I find difficult to enunciate, but suffice to say it dominates. And in a good way. It's deep, and the guitar compliments it, rather than doing the terribad drone doom cliche of having a guitar with the tone knob rolled to fuddy as muck and just trying to emulate a bassy sound as best as the drop-Z tuning will let it. I find the rhythm sections where the strings are chugged to be a nice touch, and the use of a droning guitar lead over a changing chord progression is nice too. For drone metal, this is quite linear, rather than resorting to the same riff over and over (not that that's a bad thing). The second track is much longer and more melodic, resembling funeral doom more than drone doom. It's much more traditional with a slow-and-steady approach which, bar having a different synth in it which made me want to bash my head against the wall after a couple of minutes, sounds good and is very emotive. Despite the overly edgy self-description of "we are doomy and sad" they do actually achieve this and with emotion too. The sludge influence is more present in the second and third tracks: the third starting with two chords slowly developing. It's nice to hear tremolo picking in drone metal. Makes a nice change. And unlike the last two mentions, the keys in this track really add to it. And the drums are improved, though I still hear that irritating albeit subtle delay on the drums at times, though I could be mistaken. Either way, once you notice it, it distracts you from the music. They're just that little bit more complementary and really make the band sound like they're really melding together into one bwoo-y entity. Ultimately Impia aren't a game changer and this release is by no means amazing, but the jump in quality from the debut to this gives me hope, as if they keep it up I can see them becoming one of the better bands in the underground scene. Recommended.

1 comment:

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