"Ravage And Conquer"

By Dr. Abner Mality

More teeth-rattling war metal from Shyaithan and Co. But what else would you expect from these guys? "Ravage and Conquer" captures the Singapore death brigade at both their best and their worst.

I always felt this band was more suited to splits and EPs than full-lengths because of their utterly remorseless attack, which is much more potent in small doses. "Ravage and Conquer" proves my point. The album kicks off with the almighty death-blow of "Revelation Decimation" and this lengthy track surprises by being eight plus minutes of well-produced, multi-pronged and engaging death metal delivered at apocalyptic speed. The key to a track like this is change up riffs now and then and throw in some squealing lead guitar. That Impiety does and the track is one of their best. The title track and "Weaponized" follow in much the same fashion, with the latter cut in particular being so fast and voracious for its eight minute length that your brain cells will vaporize after hearing it.

That's the plateau for the album, though. When listening to an album of nothing but machine gun blast beats and brutal hyperspeed riffing, my boredom limit is reached pretty quickly and the next 3 tracks "War Crowned", "The Scourge Majesty"  and especially "Legacy of Savagery" come across like formless, monotonous aggression that goes in one ear and out the other. A mid-tempo bruiser to break things up wouldn't be a bad idea at all, it sure works for Marduk. The album recovers with the short and sharp "Salve the Goat" (???), which avoids the long windedness of the previous cuts. A cover of Bathory's "Sacrifice" finishes things off and while it's hard to screw that up unless you're an emo band or reggae group, I can't say Impiety's version matches the original.

War metal fans will go ballistic for "Ravage and Conquer", but if you want something more tempered and less insane, seek elsewhere.