Here we have some raw, underground stuff from the bottom of the underworld. It’s an hour of technical black/death metal, played with skill and passion, which sounds as if the recording of the album was recently found locked in some obscure vault somewhere after many, many years.
Don’t let the lo-fi nature of this work put you off, however, as Impenitent know what they’re doing with the style. The songs are engaging and strike a good balance between technical complexity and straightforward aggression. A black metal influence rears its ugly head quite frequently, (and increasingly as the album progresses), as does a thrash one occasionally in some of the riffs. Both simply enhance what the album has to offer, which is a good old-fashioned extreme metal assault.
The songs are of varying lengths and paces, although they mostly run through their playing times in an energetic, upbeat manner. There’s plenty of chugs ‘n’ squeals to bang your head along to. Atmospheric sections appear here and there, used well, and I like the occasional use of melody that helps soften some of the sharp, spiky edges that the jagged music can have. Some songs are more blackened than others, with some cuts almost being pure black metal in many ways, especially later in the album. As I say, the flow of Impenitent seems to get more blackened as the album progresses, culminating with the final song Hope Given Life from Dread, which is almost like a different band when compared with opener Road to Impenitence. It’s an impressive journey, that’s for sure.
Impenitent is a blackened technical feast of raw harshness and is quite the underground gem. A recommended listen for connoisseurs of the lesser-known extreme metal pathways.