IMPIETY – Indomitable might and power
Asian extreme metal is not what I know most about in this world, but there is one band that got my attention back in 1996 and which I have followed since. The band is IMPIETY from Singapore and the debut was called "Asateerul Awaleen". Now 15 years later, the band has released 7 fullengths, a couple of live albums and a variety of mini–and split releases and it was time to check in the band’s only original member Shyaithan for an interview. We started of course with the beginning, followed up with the band’s last full length album "Worshippers of the Seventh Tyranny" before we took a little bit about all the replacements in the lineup over the years. We finished up with a small introduction to Asian extreme metal.
Since this is our first interview, let’s start with a little history. Why did you start the band?
1990 was that year IMPIETY was born and inspiration came from the old gods BATHORY, HELLHAMMER, SODOM, SARCOFAGO, early MORBID ANGEL. Prior to IMPIETY I was already in a cover band covering the above bands but there was no official releases. I decided finally it was time to create a more serious warmachine and go all out on rampage creating and writing official demos, eps and later on albums. I had wanted to create a band that was very extreme and dedicated to contributing more to the downfall and desecration of gods and their weak flock. I was burning with a lot of hatred for religion and at the same time much interest for Satanism and extreme topics on violent death, goatworship and blasphemy. IMPIETY was that perfect weapon for me.
Where does the name Impiety come from?
IMPIETY is the opposite of PIETY, meaning total Impiousness, blasphemy and irreverence. I founded this infernal name in 1989 and awaited the perfected time to strike in 1990. IMPIETY was to be a serious band and one I had wanted to develop and build strong over time – as a dedicated satanic desecrator and a developing song writer.
Now, 21 years later, where do you find your inspirations today?
21 years and now I am only inspired by IMPIETY. I mean external factors and the shit world we live in can truly rot away and does not inspire me at all, it’s only from the depths of my violent soul that I find even more fury within, and ideas come to flow as and when I take up arms to write or create the next new chapter. I am on of great knowledge and wisdom when it comes to world history, geography, culture, religion and politics but what still fascinates me this that is to put an end to all the good things of life and see it all destroyed and rebuilt in a twisted, demonic way. Such is that morbid vision of mine. Honestly fuck off to today’s commercial blackmetal world where artists and musicians seem to have toned down topics losing credibility to their beliefs and what had inspired them from the beginning. Black Metal should always remain that fist in the fact of god and humanity and not just for genre sake. IMPIETY still continues to march defiantly, under a banner of total blasphemy, fearing not the media nor whatever shit critics want to say. Primary objective to spread further the black plague and wrath of the devil has always prevailed and has grown over time adding further to IMPIETY’s indomitable might and power.
Worshippers of the Seventh Tyranny
Why only one long track?
I had long wished to do some thing, some what really crazy and that was to really sit down proper and write up a ‘never-ending’- unmerciful storm of hate! I guess I never really had the chance to do so until now that is to do an album based on one of my loves and that is traditional dread paced doom. Honestly, even before IMPIETY incepted, I had long wanted to write slower and heavier songs with doom foundation but never fully got round to dedicating appropriately to that. I knew the day would come when I could truly sit down andwrite some thing slower, and heavier. Growing up in the late 80s metal arena, doom had always been a part of my earlier influences. I’m sure you would raise your fist each time you put on brilliant albums from Hellhammer, Black Sabbath, Winter, old Cathedral, early Samael, that cult demo from Necroschizma,etc. I just didn’t want to create some thing similar but compose one out of pure originality and thus, ideas came over the natural cause of time. And damage written and executed late last year, finally being able to craft what I always wanted. The time couldn’t be better for me and this album, really. Yes indeed, a big yet fresh change for once,rather than just keeping our notorious tradition of delivering supersonic harsh releases almost all the time.
Can you tell us a bit about the album, in your words?
Worshippers of the Seventh Tyranny is the arrival dawn of chaos reign where humanity and civilisation plummet deeper into ruin and depravation. Seventh denotes the seventh album and it continues pace with Terroreign where chaos descended to obliterate but with this new album, it’s more the aftermath to that previous tide of brutal assault. In short, the effects of prime evil, post-doom apocalypse. Also note 7 parts in total, 7 being indeed an important number for most monotheist religions, and what is projected is deception to that holiness expressed with the line ‘The Lord has arrived…’ in which ‘the creator’ is actually ‘the decimator’, deceiving further a grand world of demise and decadence. As elaborated earlier, after damage done with the previous ‘Terroreign’ album, nothing now left but the perishing light and endless mourn of prime evil, post-doom apocalypse dragging what’s left of you further down the abyss…
Playing this song live, means you actually need at least a 38:30 long set, hehe.
Insanely we destroyed 2 hours live with 12 songs plus also ‘Worshippers’ in its entirety, the first show was 24th DEC at the Black Vomit Ritual in Italy. A fucking challenge but we managed it well. Also we did the same with shows in Asia January 2011 in Singapore and also Thailand in February 2011, to promote the new album. You can imagine 2 hour live sets in total and delivering the full album all at one go. Definitely an album it is to destroy live! There is so much energy when it comes to delivering the entire album live…
Line up changes
You are the one and only remaining original member of Impiety. You have used like 10 guitarists, 4 bass players and 8 drummers, at least, since the beginning in 1990. What’s the main reason for all these changes?
Some of those times as in the past members lost the commitment to keep up with the hard work, some of which got really lazy, and then when other local singaporean members were replaced, touring and even rehearsals became hard when their other jobs became priority besides the band. For the Asian culture in general it’s much harder because without main jobs it would be hard to survive. I have had to do crap jobs but just so that I could give all my time, money and energy to IMPIETY barbarian horde, So that was why from as back as 2003 after the Kaos Kommand 696 formation dissolved I began auditioning and seeking much more dedicated tyrants accross the world but primarily keeping it 3rd world because I felt ok…asia and south america are more or less on the same plane and level of life in general. Man, it’s been hard all these years travelling each time when the line up is in disarray. But hopefully now with the Italians my flying point to Italy (Venice), won’t change. I like where I live in Italy with great hospitality from Guh Lu and his family, they’ve made sure my stay is comfortable always. I’ve lived 7 months in Mexico during 2004-2006, nearly 2 months in Japan Autumn of 2009, now close to 5 months over 4 trips made to Italy in 2010 alone. Passion and dedication has kept me going and you know, IMPIETY is my full time job and life above all other things. I mean I too have my personal life back home but IMPIETY takes up 80% of every thing that is me. So you know, I am dead serious with whatever I do. I am always broke because of the band but by miracle I manage to overcome and survive after worst times. I guess hard work pays off one way or another. I just will continue giving my 100% to this band for as long as I am able to create.
Isn’t it difficult to have continuity in a band with all these lineup changes?
It’s a huge ass of a sacrifice for my part to keep IMPIETY on top always and line up changes maybe such a big hassle or to re-organise and re-build may be tougher each time, but I am on who ensures if changes are made, it should be for the better and that it be ten fold better than then last stance. The band gets stronger each time with changes, I ensure that at all times, no matter how hard it is. But so far, Im pleased with things and we continue to work hard always.
We Norwegian don’t know much about the Singapore extreme metal scene, or I could say the extreme metal scene of Asia. Is it strong? Is it big? Any band worth checking out?
Let’s talk about Singapore first, The scene here grew from late 85 with simple heavy metal bands and then emerged the first generation of blackened death metal bands as early as 88. Notable bands from the past are Abhorer and Nuctermeron. From 88 I was already forming my first band and was already aquainted with the local underground here. Today we have 30-40 black, death, thrash metal bands in total. Healthy and kicking well but still compared to neighbouring countries it’s little to compare. On average 200 fans attend gigs here, some times more or less depending who plays. In the past it was even better but I guess with frequent gigs these days, many choose the gigs they want to go to. For Thailand it’s still a small and dedicated scene yielding 250/350 diehards, it depends again who is playing. Indonesia is huge, and 900 to 1000 fans is normal for an average gig/concert. So many extreme blackmetal and deathmetal bands exist in Indonesia and it’s very diverse. There is good support from sponsors for underground gigs and concerts being such a big and huge archipelago, naturally easier for their music industry to grow. Rich and diverse scene compared to the rest of asia honestly. Bands from Asia, my recommendation would be: Surrender of Divinity (thailand), Zygoatsis(thailand), Defiled (japan), Sabbat(japan), Metalucifer(Japan), Absence of the Sacred (singapore), Rudra(singapore), Draconis Infernum (Singapore), Hell Gods (Indonesia), Divine Blackness (Indonesia), Mantak (Malaysia), Humilation (Malaysia), etc. Check these tyrants out when you have time.
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