Impureza
La caída de Tonatiuh

Ever since Nile erupted forth with their Egyptian take on brutal death metal, ethnic, and cultural elements have crept into death metal more and from from Ade  to Scarab and others. But here comes France’s Impureza to add one I have not heard before- at least not in this full on capacity: Flamenco.

Sure, a few bands have have a few flourishes here and there and some other styles have injected it (Bolu2death, Earth Rot), but this is the first time I have heard it this full integrated and assimilated into technical/brutal death metal, and boy does it result in a unique,  special album.

The backbone of the death metal is a sort of Gorod styled tech death with a playful, fretless bass twang and swing. By itself, this would stand alone as a pretty solid tech death album. But the Spanish/flamenco elements and vocals/lyrics, which are artfully weaves into each song (i.e. standouts “Leyanda Negra”, “Abre-aguas (En la tormenta de Tlaloc)”,  as well as in stand alone interludes (“El Dorado”, “Corazón al cielo (Homenaje a Paco de Lucía)” elevate the already interesting tech death into something much more engaging.

But its not just forced added fluff or a distraction, the band actually can deliver some full tilt, impressive tech death salvos as heard on “Camino hacia Mictlán”, “Último día del Omeyocán” or “La llegada de los Teules” (still with ethnic injections) which have some slight Nile-isms but when blended together perfectly and creatively  with castanets and cante flamenco (flamenco singing) like “El nuevo reino de los ahorcados” or the penultimate, instrumental  title track , it’s a joy to behold.

The production is solid and clean, and the vocals of Esteban Martin are fairly standard blast furnace roar, so there are some safe measures that keep it squarely death metal, but on the whole when the flamenco elements blend in so perfectly, the end result is an album that every tech death metal fan should hear and is one of the best albums of the year.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 11th, 2017

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