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Impureza – “La Leyenda Negra” (Song Premiere)

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There’s a certain strain of death metal that I like to think of as “blockbuster death metal.” It isn’t necessarily the heaviest form the genre can take, or the most challenging. Rather, it blows the genre’s tropes up to a massive scale. “Blockbuster death metal” is the sound of cars being launched through buildings, natural disasters tearing through civilization, enormous CGI spaceships demolishing national landmarks… all rendered in glorious high definition.

This style was at its peak about ten years ago, when Behemoth and Nile were on the bill at Ozzfest 2007 and still riding the waves of two beloved records in Demigod and Annihilation of the Wicked. Both bands also released hotly anticipated follow-ups in 2007, The Apostasy and Ithyphallic, which were similar to a lot of blockbuster sequels: bigger, louder, overstuffed, and a bit of a let down. Since then, death metal has largely favored less polished and extravagant bands, but there are still plenty of bands that make music that pairs well with an oversized soda and a deep bag of popcorn.

Coming to theaters near you: Impureza. This French death metal group is nowhere near as sprawling as Nile, but they aim for the same blast-happy, globetrotting scope on “La Leyenda Negra,” the first single from their upcoming Seasons Of Mist debut, La Caída De Tonatiuh. The song feels much shorter than its five-minute runtime, but doesn’t sacrifice its ambitions for the sake of accessibility. Key to the song’s momentum are a pair of riffs that make up its chorus. One focuses on a dialogue between acoustic shredding and a slick, full-band syncopated pattern. The other is much simpler: a mean, mugging, palm-muted beast of a riff that only gets heavier each time they return to it. Instead of just alternating between these sections, Impureza string together unique transitions from part to part, featuring off-the-chain guitar solos and melodic turn arounds accented by clean vocals.

No matter how thrilling the action sequences are, every blockbuster still needs a story. “La Leyenda Negra”’s story is a classic revenge tale. Instead of writing about anti-Spanish propaganda, they describe a man who, in death, curses the invaders of his home with divine retribution. Given the incalculable death toll at the hand of Spanish colonialism, it’s a natural fit for death metal treatment. Instead of replicating the typical narrative of say, Amon Amarth, and swapping viking horns for the feathered hats of the conquistadors, Impureza twist the subject on its head and align their sympathy with the lives forever upended by colonial invasion.

Stream “La Leyenda Negra” below. You can follow Impureza on Facebook, and pre-order La Caída De Tonatiuh here.

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