Imperium Album Reviews
ANGRY METAL GUY:
Internal Bleeding helped to pioneer the much maligned (but somewhat loved) ‘slam’ death metal genre over 20 years ago, and are by most accounts the first band to use the term. As the premiere slam band alongside Suffocation [Must be a Long Island thing — Steel Druhm], they’ve been divisive since day one. Some hate the hardcore tinged attitude that oft accompanies the genre and the numerous slam breakdowns everyone just knows are going to launch a karate kicking pit. Others embraced the style and ran with it with all the same fervor that hardcore attracts. A few demos, four solid, but one-dimensional full lengths, and two compilations down the line and they’ve done little to change the opinions of those on the other side of the barbed wire fence. I wasn’t shocked to see Imperium being touted as “a masterpiece of slam,” but was pleasantly surprised to discover that description sells it short. Imperium is much more. To bastardize a quote by Unser on Sons of Anarchy, “These guys are not cretins. [Internal Bleeding are] formidable; as smart as they are dangerous.” The material on this album is much less, “NY tough guy about to kick your fuckin’ teeth in,” and more a savage maniac like Richard Kuklinski, who occasionally does kick someone’s fuckin’ teeth in, but knows when to quietly slice a throat or slip some cyanide into a drink. Internal Bleeding still know when to be barbarically Neanderthal and yes, loyal slam fans, breakdowns still abound. Rather than abandon their roots, they’ve let the branches grow. What was lacking in the past was atmosphere and sophistication, things the genre haven’t been known for.
“Fabricating Bliss” opens the album and delivers everything you’d expect from classic Internal Bleeding. Drummer Bill Tolley showcases insane chops and is a monster throughout the album, grooving like a truck, blasting at break-wrist speeds, and throwing in slick, syncopated beats. “The Pageantry of Savagery,” opens with a frantic blast beat and is sure to please the old fans, while the hungrier sound should catch the ear of folks new to the band and even those that wrote them off. The album closer, “Castigo Corpus Meum,” along with “Patterns of Force” is where the songwriting is most off the beat(ing) path. A breakdown about three quarters in launches what may be the most melodic passage the band has penned yet and includes one of only three guitar solos on the entire album, closing Imperium out with a foreboding mood one can only hope is a hint of where the band will go next.
It’s been 10 years since Internal Bleeding last dropped the slam hammer on a willing and eager underground and while the world has certainly changed in that time; Internal Bleeding are standing ever-defiant, proudly waving the flag of dyed-in-the-wool, time-honoured slamming death metal. That isn’t to say that they haven’t made a few changes here and there, but I can’t imagine that if you loved the Internal Bleeding albums of the 90s and early 00s, you wouldn’t love this as well.
With the irrational hatred I have for “everything at the same time” blast beats, I should probably hate this album, but instead, I love it. The reason for this is that everything else on ’Imperium’ works so well that it overpowers my stupid eccentricities. Enough time has passed that ‘Imperium’ is a joy for me the way a new Midnight album or, more accurately, a new Autopsy album. In fact, it has reminded me that even brutal, slam-centric death metal can be fun, which is something I had forgotten amongst all of the single note breakdown-worshiping, arpeggio-spewing lifelessness we’re often inundated with in 2014.
I’d mentioned that there were a few changes earlier, and I think we ought to look at two surprises that are real highlights of ‘Imperium’. First, we have studio debut of Keith DeVito, former vocalist of Pyrexia and Catastrophic. His scorched, tortured howl is an excellent new ingredient to the Internal Bleeding stew. The style he employs on this album might remind you of early Chuck Schuldiner, or John Tardy of Obituary. It also has the added benefit of further setting them apart from bands who have built their sound from the foundation Internal Bleeding helped lay in the 90s.
Another nice surprise is the opening moments of the “Patterns of Force” trilogy. Church bells and keyboard choir voices lead into an acoustic guitar riff not far off from the eerie atmosphere of the beginning of “Seasons in the Abyss”. Thunder cracks in the distance and the guitars swell with distortion. The atmosphere continues to build. It feels like a monumental moment where a band that has been so stout in its dedication to a sound truly branches out. It’s a real shift in the direction and focus for a band that’s been in the game for over 20 years and then… a slam? It’s so fucking tremendous! A juke to rival Barry Sanders in his prime! The notion of such a dramatic build up for a song that ultimately sounds just like Internal Bleeding always has brought me immense joy. That’s not something I can say about any old death metal band.
There’s a charisma and personality in an album like ‘Imperium’ and in a band like Internal Bleeding that is simply absent in so much of the brutal or technical or slamming death metal that’s put out there these days. For so many of these bands, you can’t really even get a sense about the people who make those albums. They make the requisite noise in a precise manner, but they often neglect their own humanity in the process. Internal Bleeding might have made an album that sounds like the past 10 years never happened, but they’re damned good at what they do and it doesn’t sound like it’s fresh off an assembly line. This is an album worth going out of your way to hear.
New York slam death metal OGs Internal Bleeding haven't released an album in ten years, but considering their track record before that, you're probably thinking this is going to be 10 songs of guttural, groove-infused USDM, right? What if I told you there's a three-part mini-slam-opera in there? Some southern metal riffing? But, not to worry; despite some higher-register vocals than expected from new throat Keith DeVito (he's more Tardy than Corpsegrinder) and the above eyebrow-raisers, this is full of all the grinding, slamming, grooving pure USDM that you'd expect. As for the aberrations? Well, they're fun: "Patterns Of Force - Act 2 - Plague Agenda" drops a Pepper Keenan burner of a riff when you least expect it (in the middle of a three-part mini-slam-opera is certainly when you'd least expect Internal Bleeding to remind you of Down... or maybe it's right when you'd most expect it, search me), but those moments help liven up a band whose past releases were too often so oppressive they became difficult, if not downright antagonistic, to listen to. The closing soaring solo ending off "Castigo Corpus Meum" is an effectively moody way to end the album. So, yeah, a few moments of fun reaching out mixed in with all the Dying Fetus-by-way-of-Cannibal Corpse sounds that you'd expect, delivered with the whiff of originators, not followers, adds up to a solid, and surprisingly fun, slammy USDM experience.
INTERNAL BLEEDING is an American band from Long Island New York, formed in 1991, they are the pioneers of the so called Slam Death Metal and thanks to them a new Style was created and their sound has paved the way for many bands to come and play with the same style and brutality.
After released four full length albums: "Voracious Contempt" 1995, "The Extinction Of Benevolence" 1997, "Driven To Conquer" 1999 and "Onward To Mecca" 2004, the band went into a hiatus since the last album most likely to take care of their private lives and so on and only to return now stronger and more brutal than ever with a master piece entitled "Imperium". That's right, with Keith DeVito on vocals and Jason Liff on the bass and the crew is complete to bring chaos to the hordes!!
First track on the CD "Fabricating Bliss" showing what INTERNAL BLEEDING is all about: brutality, very technical guitars, heavy bass lines, a monster on the drums and DeVito with a throat of steel, the result is a total onslaught, lovers of extreme music will love "Imperium"; a very modern album, it has been ten years since the last album and the waiting is over. "The Visitant" is here and hopefully He will stay for long time. "Pageantry Of Savagery" contains lots of variation on the tempo and is heavy as fuck, the more I listen to the album, the more I want… Those bass notes crushing on the back of your head, very good vibe as well. "Patterns Of Force" in three parts, very interesting concept, very brutal, very catchy, awesome stuff, smart music made by smart musicians. With "In The Absence Of Soul", you have INTERNAL BLEEDING to fill you up with hate and ecstasy.
INTERNAL BLEEDING have given us an awesome album, modern and very technical and you do not get bored at all, it was totally worth waiting for them to return, I can't fault anything at all and I would not dare to, production is perfect, art cover is awesome, Master Piece indeed. Rules!!!!
The East Coast is a hub of some brutal and heavy music. The New York hardcore scene and New York death metal are just two of several. Internal Bleeding have “been all about slam” since the beginning, having been referred to as a pioneer of the style. The band has been given credit for forging the paths for bands who would later define present-day death metal and death-core bands alike. Starting it all in 1991 in Long Island, New York and remaining a staple in the scene until their hiatus in 2004, in 2012 they started all up again and fans are eating it up.
The most interesting element to this CD is the trilogy tracks, which go on to a heavy story. “Patterns of Force: 1, 2 and 3″ will make R. Kelley’s “Trapped in the Closet” look like an over extended line of anguish, deceit and realization. Metal has always been better for that line of emotional delivery anyway. Concluding the nine-track album is “Castigo Corpus Meum.” For what Death Metal offers, this is almost operatic; the final few seconds wrap up the album in its entirety, leaving the listener to remain complacent with the amount of anger and tertiary so he can now move on from this experience, until the next time.
“Placate the Ancients” is a classic newly delivered. If one track were to be selected for audience appreciation, this would surely be it. Almost sounding like two in one, its delivery is both familiar and crisp.
Internal Bleeding is definitely smart in their music. Drummer Bill Tolley is precise and fierce with his precision of purcussionary delivery. Guitarists Chris Perveils and Brian Hobble bring some sharp and bitting elements to their instruments and chords. While Vocalist Keith DeVito and Bassist Jay Liff keep the bottom hand punctuation heavy. Imperium deserves High Fidelity for coming back with some heavy hitting noise.
Finally, Internal Bleeding is back with an album that is 110% them, as “Imperium” is a superb culmination of their earlier works, as well as their raw, sonic brutality taken to a whole new level of aural violence. These guys definitely deliver the lethal goods on “Imperium” with great magnitude and ill will.
Opener, “Fabricating Bliss” just forges ahead and tears your ears off with its suffocated vocals, then track number two, “The Visitant” pours sulfuric acid into your wounds, all the while their perverse rhythms are bashing your skull into millions of minute fragments. If you think this is cold blooded and earth shattering, the remainder of the album simply obliterates the soul. The three song trilogy, “Patterns of Force is something new with this death metal bunch, but it fits the album’s scope of death metal music quite well. The eerie and haunting acoustic guitar and synth passages on the first song of off this trilogy: “Patterns Of Force – Act 1 – The Discovery” is unique to Internal Bleeding’s style of old school death metal, but fits the rabid nature of the chaos found here. The guitars are slow and agonizing, thereby inflicting immense suffering on your helpless corpse. “Patterns Of Force – Act 2- Plague Agenda” starts off slow and groove driven with some heavy muted guitar strings, but picks up pace to smack you in the face, leaving you crawling for more torture. The lead run on this track will leave burn marks on your flesh too, as it’s executed with such scolding insanity, you’ll feel the pain on this bitch. “Patterns Of Force – Act 3 – Aftermath” is the end of this trilogy, which is sure to seal your unmarked grave with its pounding guitar and bass rhythms, and a drumming assault that just does not let up until you’re completely depleted of life. Also, a note of interest here, if you were fan of Internal Bleeding’s first growler Frank Rini from the early days, you’ll be pleased as he lends his guttural talents on this three part trilogy. Terrence Hobbs and Frank Mullen of Suffocation also lend their sickness here as well.
The other tracks are mosh-inducing vehicles of pure self-torture; so do not be surprised if you find yourself moshing all over your loved ones, hell yeah! These nine cuts are very fucking contagious and inhumane, so if you want to experience great pain and total death at high speeds and total rhythmic pounding, “Imperium” will surely get the job done, no doubt about it.
The production and sound are nothing short of superb as the band and Joe Cincotta, at Full Force Studio, produced the album… Get ready to mosh and slam, as “Imperium” has all the ingredients to one fucking hell of an earth shattering experience. New York’s Internal Bleeding violently kill on “Imperium”, and this is no understatement, as their brand of death metal music is brilliant.