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One of the numerous death metal bands that came out of Scandinavia in the '90s, Impious have never been known for subtlety, restraint, or understatement; in fact, just the opposite is true. The Swedish outfit has earned a reputation for offering stereotypically ferocious death metal -- harsh, dense, blistering, claustrophobic, Slayer-influenced music that can send a mosh pit into overdrive and leave listeners feeling totally drained. Impious are not part of the trends that have been described as "melodic death metal" and "symphonic black metal"; while the bands that epitomize those styles (many of which are from Scandinavian countries) have combined death metal and/or black metal elements with intricacy, melodic appeal, and a strong power metal influence, the unforgiving Impious offer no such mercy. The Nordic moshers live for bombast and thrive on pure, unrepentant, skull-crushing brutality -- an approach that has brought them very little, if any, mainstream recognition but has enabled Impious to enjoy a small cult following in the European death metal/black metal underground. Lineup changes are quite common among death metal, black metal, and grindcore bands (just as they are a frequent occurrence in punk, emo, and hardcore bands), and Impious have had more than their share along the way. The outfit was formed in Trollhättan, Sweden, in April 1994, when lead singer/guitarist Martin Åkesson (who, like many death metal vocalists, favors a deep, menacing, guttural growl) formed an alliance with guitarist Valle Adzic. At first, Åkesson and Adzic had problems finding a permanent drummer, and Johan Lindstrand agreed to fill in temporarily. Robin Sörqvist was hired as Impious' first bassist, and in 1995, that Åkesson/Adzic/Lindstrand/Sörqvist lineup recorded a demo titled Infernal Predomination. In 1996, Impious recorded their second demo, The Suffering -- and by that time, Marko Tervonen was on drums. But Tervonen, like Lindstrand, thought of Impious as strictly a temporary gig and took off after a few months. When Impious recorded their third demo, Promo '97, in 1997, their drummer was Ulf Johansson (not to be confused a well-known Swedish jazz pianist/trombonist who was born in 1956). It was also in 1997 that Impious recorded their first official full-length album, Evilized, for Black Sun Records (a small independent Swedish label). Impious' second album was recorded for Black Sun in 1999 and released in 2000, a year that found the band undergoing some more lineup changes. That year, Åkesson quit playing guitar for Impious and opted to do nothing but sing lead; Sörqvist switched from bass to lead guitar, and Erik Peterson was hired as the band's new bassist. Johansson left Impious in early 2002, when the drummer position was taken over by Mikael Norén. With Norén in place, Impious recorded their third album, The Killer, for Hammerheart Records -- and in 2004 (which marked Impious' tenth anniversary), a five-man lineup consisting of Åkesson on lead vocals, Adzic and Sörqvist on guitars, Peterson on bass, and Norén on drums recorded Hellucinate (Impious' fourth album) for Metal Blade. The band released Holy Murder Masquerade in early 2007.
© Alex Henderson /TiVo
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