This is Satanic, occult black metal that’s screaming with second wave vitriol. With most of the music apparently written during this early era, Impiedoso are even more authentic than most.
The songs are raw and dangerous-sounding, delivered with pure passion and fervour. This manifests not only in the singer’s acerbic vocals, but also in the sharp, cutting riffs.
The guitars are frosted and full of malice, as you would expect for something like this, but they’re not without their blackened melodies either. In fact, the band show a keen ear for a decent lead, solo, or melody, and some of these seem to howl like the frozen winds in the night. I feel compelled to also mention the nice use of bass on this album, which is a joy to hear.
As well as the taking the direct approach to their dark art, Impiedoso aren’t afraid to draw out some of their songs and really play to their bleakly atmospheric side, with macabre melodies and grim moods sometimes taken to the eight-to-twelve minute mark. Although this does make for a very long album, it also makes for a very enjoyable one.
This reminds me so much of some of the underground stuff that came out during the 90s; Impiedoso have exactly the right vibe for this. As I alluded to earlier though, unlike some similar bands that manage to capture the feel of this time despite releasing music now instead of then, Impiedoso actually originate from this era, with the bulk of the songs apparently being 15-20 years old. All that ultimately matters is the quality of the music, of course, but this does go some way in explaining the authentic feelings of underground, old-school nostalgia that Reign in Darkness fills me with.
The songs are well-written and have obviously been refined and tweaked to perfection over the years. There’s various different types of moods, feelings, riffs, speeds, atmospheres, and ideas explored across the 71 minutes of this album, and with the quality control levels set quite high, it’s the type of release that keeps on giving the more you listen and explore the dark forests that it stalks in.
If Impiedoso had actually released this twenty years ago it would probably have attained complete cult classic status by now, although maybe the songs wouldn’t have been as good as the band wouldn’t have had the extra time to develop and refine them…? Who knows. All I know is that Reign in Darkness is very good indeed and I’m very glad that it has been unleashed on the world.
For a real hit of the old-school, while also experiencing something substantial, check this out.