The Altar of Impiety: 20 Years of Extreme Metal Plague

The demonic strains of Impiety was conceived in early 1990 by Shyaithan and Necro-Angelfornicator and had the grand distinction of being one of the very first extreme metal bands from Singapore. Over the span of 20+ years, Shyaithan’s passion for his dark art has taken him all over the world, working with various musicians throughout the bands chaotic history. Worshippers of the Seventh Tyranny (Agonia Records) is the seventh magnum opus of destruction from the mighty Impiety – a single track clocking in at over 38 minutes – and certainly not for the fainthearted. We recently had the opportunity to interview Shyaithan to find out more about Impiety’s glorious past as well as the ideas he has to convey on the new album, the metal scene of today, belief in Satanism, and many other topics of interest.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Impiety.
Ave Ken. Well, Shyaithan is my name and IMPIETY is the unholy barbarian black horde I command. I am in charge of management, propaganda, song writing. Weapons used: bass, vomit commands and guitars at times.

What is the metal scene like in Singapore and are there very many places to play?
Singapore has a population of 5 million or close to. Yeah these days many clubs compared to the past where metal gigs/concerts were a rare occasion. These days on average every month there is an event or even a couple of gigs.
There are some 30-40 black and death metal and thrash metal on average. At good gigs more than 200, and smaller ones an average of 50. It all depends who is playing really.

With Singapore being such a conservative country, have you ever faced any censorship because of your music and lyrical content?
Yes in the past, but lucky only close encounters with censorship board, also recently just for IMPIETY to play here we had to apply a performance licence and they asked for our lyrics, etc. We had to amend and make it all pleasant for their eyes. IMPIETY is just lucky to have prevailed here without major problems, even though we had minor problems with some of our artwork and lyrics 2 years ago.

Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Worshippers of the Seventh Tyranny?
Most IMPIETY releases, albums or EPs, are based deeply on concept. ‘Worshippers of the Seventh Tyranny’ is the arrival dawn of chaos reign where civilisation and society 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.

Would you ever want to do a show where you play Worshippers Of The Seventh Tyranny all the way through?
Yes, 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 in Singapore and also Thailand, to promote the new album. You can imagine 2 hour live sets in total. Definitely an album it is to destroy live! Total Aural Punishment for the Legions.

Being involved on the world metal scene for 20 years and counting, what changes have you seen in the scene and the bands over time?
Definitely I’ve seen many come and go. Fans, Bands, Friends, Trends. Of course out of the plentiful number of bands, only a few remain mighty and have kept the same spirit and diabolical energy. Killing Technology these days, has only caused a big flood of unwanted acts and spiritless bands and also plenty more labels and distros for better or worse. Of course better would now be the catalogue for killer guitars and amp heads, and production consoles, etc. But today’s Bands I find are made of just good musicians and not really diehards who live, breathe, eat and shit metal, as we’ve seen previously, in the first or second generation of black/death/thrash/grind bands. A few new bands appeal to me and have my full support. But just a few. The rest sound retarded with recycled concepts and riffs lacking originality from all 4 corners. I don’t blame them anyways for not sharing that same spirit, it’s a different generation altogether. The future is unstoppable and unpredictable – only the strong survive. I’ve collected and listened hard to album tapes, demo tapes, DAT tapes, VHS tapes, EP and LP vinyl releases – see them come and go – to CDs, DVDs and next up fuckin tiny USB pen drives? Ha. I for one still play all my old Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer LP records from time to time, fearing nothing about the future to come, but always taking a moment to look back, cherishing those good old days when I had to literally lick thousands of postage stamps onto demo packages and reply mail using a pen on the back of some flyers or A4 paper the old school way. And even then I would get a reply. Today, send a damn email and probably you get a reply, probably not.

How frustrating has it been to see so many members come and go over the 20 years of Impiety’s existence?
Man it’s been a tough journey throughout, although there has been triumph always. Rebuilding from the last level is a very stressful and hard process. I have worked with members from Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Singapore and now Italian. You can imagine…the amount of perseverance and hard work I’ve constantly been putting and giving to the band. Countries and months spent living and rehearsing with the band. I’ve been to almost every place on the planet now be it touring or rehearsing, etc. It’s more like donating blood when it comes to IMPIEY. Ha. But factors like work, family, and visa problems have been some what main cause to losing members along the way. In the past it was more commitment and they just didn’t want to give enough to the band. I gave up on Asia and just because life here is hard and everyone cant rely 100% playing extreme metal. But all that fixed this moment with the new line up and we keep pace with every thing, moving forward all the time and accomplishing a lot.

Have you heard from founding member Necro-Angelfornicator and whatever happened to him?
Strange tale but he went missing in late 1990 and this prompted me to look for other members. I knew him 2 years before, and I know he must have been caught by the cops because he’s into hard drugs. So I have never seen or hear from him since. What a pity because really, a great warrior he was but the law caught up with him and his heroin addiction. Man, I hope some day we invertedly cross paths; I’m looking forward if ever to meet up with him after 20 years.

Who are the current members of Impiety and is the lineup fairly stable now?
Early 2010, I scouted for a new line up. Good brother Alex from Zero Tolerance came forward with a list of 20 or so tyrants willing to commit play. It was only because I had already given up looking throughout Asia, the last Asian line up was with 2 other Japanese. It was hard for them to tour due to their jobs; you know how it’s like for strict Asian culture and values. So then I had put out word for a line up and it was open to Europeans. I felt I had to go on and not see the demise of IMPIETY. It has been a huge struggle throughout to keep good line ups but as always, hard to find tyrants who would drop every thing to live the life of a beast and dedicate the soul entirely to metal and other things like family or work can go to hell. Near impossible. I had also made contacts with some Italians in North Italy, the first formation this 2010 was with the guys from Imposer. But that fell through right after the European tour with Setherial where IMPIETY destroyed 15 live dates across Europe. The line up I felt was retard; not strong enough with poor commitment and poor play from that formation. So I was lucky in the end to tie up with Guh Lu who injected more violence as well as pure dedication and commitment to the band. Eskathon was recommended by Guh Lu to take charge of second guitars. Atum (drums) joined after the recording of ‘Worshippers’. Eskathon is the only rookie in the band without war credentials to his name but you know, I’m proud to say he has proven his position in the band working his ass off all the time. I appreciate all his effort. To date we have destroyed 2 exclusive Italian concerts and also headlined the Rites of Darkness II Festival in San Antonio, Texas. IMPIETY also ravaged a 5 date tour ‘Blackfest Over X-Mass’ with Belphegor and Gorgoroth just 1 month ago. Yes, the new formation couldn’t be better honestly, and so far, I’ve enjoyed working with them.

Has Impiety ever played here in the Los Angeles area or plan to do in the future? If so, what was the experience like?
Never played LA before, only San Antonio on December 11th was one to cherish. IMPIETY spent close to 8 days in Texas. Plenty we did during those days (fucking burgers – endless nightmare, plus really good beers. Ha) and was great conjuring evil with tyrants Necroholocaust, Black Witchery, Manticore, Obeisance, HOD, Morbosidad, Diocletian, etc I look forward if that day comes to trample over LA and raise all chaos, Should be interesting to meet diehards there.

How did Fabio Zperandio from Ophiolatry become involved with the new album and isn’t he based out of Brazil? Did he have to fly out to Singapore to record?
I’ve known Fabio some years now and we’re good brothers and always in close contact. It just dawned upon me and since we are both fans of each other works to invite him to collaborate with myself on this new creation. Fabio was excited and in fact he wrote those killer solos in just a matter of days after listening real well and getting a solid feel of a rough demo take I prepared for him. Fabio recorded the solos using his own LAB 6 Studios in Sao Paulo, Brazil and then mailed me the wave files. In the end, I’m really pleased with the final result. His solos blew me away…literally.

When you listen back to the early Impiety recordings, what do you think of them now?
Some classics for sure…I don’t regret any thing other that the first album ‘Asateerul Awaleen’ which really we should have re-recorded again with a better budget; spending more time on a good mix and master. Other than that, most albums have monumental carnage to offer!

You have worked a lot with the members of Hacavitz. Do you still keep in touch with them and would you ever want to do a tour with them?
Yes Oscar and Antimo are still good brothers and close in touch with myself. I think this moment the new formation with Guh Lu, Eskathon and Atum is great and we have good combination more also, having accomplished a few tours already. Who knows in future I might just invite them for the grand sake of comradeship. Time will tell but as sessions or guest at any given point, it’s a full yes.

What does the term Satanism mean to you, if anything…?
It means every thing to me and IMPIETY. All strength, wisdom and darkest energies that emanate within my mortal shell and barbarian horde IMPIETY is one which is 100% against organised religion, the feeble world of god and every thing that represents chastity, sanctity, beauty, purity and piety. Religion deceives – rakes in millions if not billions for your filthy politicians. Wake up world. Thus, I have chosen to lead this short life on earth as a full time Goat-worshipping Desecrator and Blasphemer, because my primary ambition from inception is to create and cast plentiful misery, plague, death and chaos upon this world of blind sheep. It is not just a ‘topic’ for the band like most bands will tell you bullshit or elaborate crap and then also lead another double life in reality; I fucking go straight to the point on this. For it is who I am ; Shyaithan forever stands with one boot over the rotten corpse of your God whatever shape and size always in full force and ugliness of demonic victory!

Do you have any messages for metal fanatics here in the Los Angeles area?
Terror. Death. Worship!
Plug the new ‘Worshippers of the Seventh Tyranny’ revelation when you have the chance and probably you wished you were never born. Diehards get in touch. Others fuck off. Thanks for this talk komrade, til soon in hell’s fire…Altar of Worm Awaits!

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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