PICK OF THE WEEK: Warped death catapults Impetuous Ritual into cosmic horror on ‘Blight Upon…’

Imagine being taken from your sleep by a force not necessarily human and being dragged into a setting utterly dark and mysterious. You can feel around and call for help, but the idea of being captured by the void and swept into something you cannot explain fills you with terror and the sense that you might not ever attain a level of normalcy ever again.

That’s what it feels like to take on a record by Australian death horde Impetuous Ritual, a band with a hard-earned reputation for taking their sound and warping it beyond recognition. A live experience with the band must be experienced to be believed, and once that confrontation comes to an end, you’re affected days on end, wondering what you just witnessed. Their third record “Blight Upon Martyred Sentience” is here, and they’ve managed to take the terror they create and make it even more bizarre. It feels like a disassociation with reality, as the band unloads tons of noise, churning violence, and outright ugliness over these nine songs that warp for a little more than 43 minutes. It’s the strangest record of their three, and it feels like a psychological act of torment.

“Void Cohesion” opens the record like a storm of plague, as noise builds and chokes, with churning death roiling through hell and forcing you to gasp for breath. It’s a mass of sound, feeling like a planet folding in on itself and experiencing a slow, tortuous death. Moans of horror spill over the background, as everything is swallowed by a black hole. “Apoptosis” delivers pure carnage, as the guitars cut down everything with their horrifying shrieks, and grim growls spill. Guitars stab, as the song gurgles on its own blood and blends into “Inordinate Disdain” that begins strangling right away. Hellish vocals and sprawling soloing cause the fires to rage over, as terrible cries pummel, and the pace keeps blazing anew. Meaty savagery puts an exclamation point at the end of the cut, and then it’s on to “Untoward Evocation.” The drumming utterly slaughters, while disorienting playing causes your head to spin, and the pace devastates. A brief halt leads to the assault carrying on again with greater fervor, spilling in disorienting space noise and leaving everything a heaving mess. “Synchronous Convergence” has guitars flexing, the drums mauling, and a complete assault on the senses taking place. Soloing erupts, while shrieks go for the throat, and from there, the guitars carry on the assault and, along with the war-torn drums, help the song come to a disruptive end.

“Denigrative Prophecies” starts with terrifying growls that start your skin crawling, and then the song blows itself apart. The tempo draws to a premature halt, but then strange vocals bubble to the surface, and the music rises and slays again. The final moments are smothering and nasty, slipping out into space. “Sullen” is anything but, as it pummels in place and rains down hammers to the surface. Thick, gross growls and a pace that seems to stomp through tar create unease, while the song burns at a calculated pace through the bulk of its stretch. As things wind to a close, total demolition is exacted, while bells chime, and the playing leaves you dizzy. “Feculence Reveled” is a violent terror, with the drums decimating bones and the vocals spreading pestilence. The guitars gush through cracks in the earth, and the cut drizzles its final dose of fear. Closer “Intransience” is the longest track at 9:06, and it boils for its first stretch, allowing heat to gather and your body to wilt. The band burrows away, as if tunneling through the ground, while massive death growls are traded off with weird vocal spurts. The song continues to dig into the crust, as the music burns, the detached wails feel like signals from beyond, and riffs spiral away into the unknown.

Impetuous Ritual remain strange enigmas of death metal, and “Blight Upon Martyred Sentience” adds an apocalyptic scarring onto the metal world. The album is an unsettling step forward for the band, and hearing these abominations being presented live should only add another level of chaos. This record might be an unsettling nightmare for many or the exact window into hell for those who have been waiting for a statement this frightening.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/ImpetuousRitual/

To buy the record, go here: https://profoundlorerecords.merchtable.com

For more on the label, go here: http://www.profoundlorerecords.com/