is a band that constantly surprises followers of the band, not only with the constant unpredictable shifts in lineup, but also with the stylistic changes that the band has experienced throughout its history. The biggest surprise came in the form of last year's Worshippers of the Seventh Tyranny
, which saw the band moving towards a more progressive direction, with a single track on the album spanning 40 minutes. It was anyone's guess what the band's move would be next, with the announcement of yet another new lineup for the band's new album, Ravage
& Conquer, this time featuring guitarist Nizam and Australian drummer, Dizazter.
Seemingly starting with where Worshippers... left off, Ravage
& Conquer opens with a frantic drumming section on Revelation Decimation
, complete with warhorns to build up the tension in the music, before a lead guitar line comes in. Right after the intro of the track, longtime fans of Impiety
would rejoice, with the music going back to what the band has been known for: furious and intense, albeit with a more death metal direction compared to previous outputs of the band. Band mastermind Shyaithan's vocals though, are a tad different from all previous works of the band, leaning more towards a somewhat gruff growl instead of the higher-pitched style on Terroreign and before, and this could take some time to get used to initially. The introduction of guitarist Nizam has also resulted in a different atmosphere than before, and while the trademark chaotic and complex riffing patterns of Impiety
songs are still present, the guitar solos, unlike the seemingly mindless shred-fest before, are more well-thought out here. There is also a more prominent play on the whammy bar compared to previous works, and this certainly helps in providing a fresh sound in the band's music. Dizazter also lives up to his name, with his work behind his kit comparable to other bands that he is involved in, such as Mhorgl
and The Furor
, and Ravage
& Conquer could even possibly contain some his most destructive works so far.
The progressive and experimental elements on the band's previous opus are no longer present, though tracks still typically remain at the usual 6-8 minute range. Also, unlike the previous more thrashy sound a la Infernal War
, the band is now more intent on bringing death and destruction through their savage and destructive brand of black/death metal. Riffs on songs like title track Ravage
& Conquer also present a slightly different style than before, with patterns that attempt to build up a certain tension in the air first, and displays the continual evolution of the band's songwriting styles. Weaponized though, sees some of the melodic moments that were present on Worshippers... rear its head, though this time these are done nicely, preventing any awkward moments from arising. War
Crowned and Legacy
of Savagery also include moments that instantly remind listeners of Polish black/death metal, at times sounding like a blackened version of bands like Azarath
. There is also less of the jarring riffing styles that are present on albums like Formidonis Nex Cultus
and before, and this helps in making Ravage
& Conquer a smoother and more enjoyable listening experience personally.
& Conquer also sees the band paying tribute to the grandfather of black metal, Bathory
, with the included cover track Sacrifice
played in pure Impiety
style. Overall, Ravage
& Conquer marks the band's return to the well-trodden path that they have laid down over the years, and this could easily sit well with those who like albums from the Skullfucking Armageddon
to Terroreign years, unlike Worshippers... that required numerous listens for one to finally "get it".