Impugner - Advent of the Wretched (Sentient Ruin / Caligari)

Recent years have provided more wonky death metal (DM) in the vein of Demilich than ever - and I am more than happy about that! Impugner are the latest outfit to reveal their own take on the genre, and moreso than others bring a lugubriously humorous slant. Absolutely hairy vocals berate the listener, jumping from drawling insults (“Worthless”) to garbled profanities (“An Act of the Unspeakable”), while the music lurches malevolently between throwback doom tempos and an almost crusty furor – looking perhaps to give an errant headbanger some whiplash. Speaking of throwbacks, Impugner resemble Herxheim in their commitment to an older-than-old-school sound that evokes the very earliest of DM demos, and yet this rough ‘n ready quality only enhances the music. Indeed, this helps the band stand out from the similarly elastic Diskord (with whom 2 members have been involved with); Impugner’s music feels more like a drunken graveyard brawl than a horrifying science experiment gone wrong. As a final prank, the band briefly display a more restrained and mournful side in the acoustic closer – which lasts less than a minute total. 

At an unpredictably fluid 23 minutes, Advent of the Wretched is an offensive and unorthodox platter from a project that is as likely to provoke a smirk as it is a jolt of the chin.