Impurity | ‘Bonfim Moritvri Mortivis’
When it comes to filthy and barbaric metal the scenes of South America, Canada, Finland, Australia and, latterly, New Zealand are sacrosanct.
But this time it is to the clammy dead heat of Brazil we go, through the gates of the legendary Bonfim Cemetery, lit by a languorous heavy sun and thick with the ghosts of a million dead.
Rife with the corpse-painted ghouls of a million bestial black metal bands, this is the abode of Impurity.
Less celebrated than their national peers, Sepultura, Sarcofago and Mystifier, but hailing from the same era, Impurity have hovered well below the radar for over twenty years. ‘The Lamb’s Fury’ LP from ’93 and their ‘Guests of the Infernal Pit’ 7″, recorded in ’91, have been my only other contact with this obscure entity and vary from excellent (the former) to barely listenable (the latter).
What we get on ‘Bonfim Moritvri Mortivis’ is a 2011 re-recording of ‘The Impurity Temple’ demo from 1991 on ‘side Bonfim’ and a clutch of new nasties written and recorded in 2011 on ‘side Desecration’.
Boy, is it a grubby little piece of work.
This reviewer has not heard the original demo material but I can say that any worries about the band dolling up their sound and displaying any sense of ‘maturity’ are flung out the window within about three seconds of opener, ‘Lucifer Vomiting Blasphemies Over Christ’s Head’, barrelling out of the speakers. The title says it all really.
While all of the bands mentioned above will give you a good idea of what to expect from these guys, Finland’s Beherit are undoubtedly the most obvious point of reference. Primitive pounding war drums battle with equally base and ugly riffs to clog up the grooves of the vinyl, giving your needle a good run for its money.
Ram Priest’s vocals bring Mystifier to mind, however, with those bizarre Brazilian pronunciations that make reading along with the lyrics an exercise in futility, while at the same time adding huge amounts of character to the overall sound.
Essentially ‘side Bonfim’ will be a winner for those who like to wallow in the mire of ‘The Lamb’s Fury’ and, while offering exactly nothing in the way of surprises, it provides plenty of rotten meat to get your teeth into. The production really adds weight to the songs, too; clear enough to allow the simple riffs to barge through without sacrificing any of the bestial grot that is the life’s blood of this music.
It is also great for those of us not lucky enough to have witnessed the heretical madness first-hand to be able to swot up on our BM homework.
‘Side Desecration’ offers a slight curveball to the more observant listener. Beherit worship is once again the name of the game but curiously these songs harken to that band’s mighty rebirth, namely 2009′s ‘Engram’. Interesting.
So while a more considered, mid-paced approach is applied that at least nods in the general direction of progress, the gritty/grotty production drags these songs right back into the gutter. If ‘Engram’ was all mood and swarming walls of distortion then these tunes are given identity by that wisely retained clammy filth. There is aura here, but it is buried behind the mildewed walls of one of Bonfim’s old tombs.
Song titles like ‘No Fucking Resurrection’, ‘Canonical Destruction’ and ‘Rolling Blood’ let us know that the boys have lost none of their high-brow charm. Indeed, this is Neanderthal poetry that does what it says on the tin, and is all the better for it.
The Nuclear War Now! stamp on the back will tell you what you need to know in terms of presentation. Visually this is second to none; caveman art made gold. A reworking of the demo cover displays demonic heads, upside-down crosses, inverted female legs with ‘bits’ on display and a hovering chalice all rendered in garish purple and silver, plonked on a flat black background. It suits the music perfectly.
The drawings on the inner sleeve are probably best left without a description but, once again, nail the scummy atmosphere.
Impurity have presented us with an arsenal that has been seen on the battle field many times before, the only difference is that with over two decades of experience to their name these fiends know exactly how to handle their weapons.
For those about to rot, go buy this record.
3.9/5 – Andrew Cunningham ::: 08/06/12