In the shocker of the fucking century, Sweden has produced yet another melodic death metal band. Sanity of Impiety does like their peers: copy the greats in a respectable but unoriginal way. Like the countless releases of its ilk, their demo In Life We Despise is mostly enjoyable and occasionally inspired, but overall, it’s yet another cookie-cutter example of a style that is more worn out than the Julia Roberts rom-com.
In Life We Despise starts with the heroes of Gothenburg (particularly Dark Tranquillity), adds a splash of Stockholm, a bit of Hypocrisy’s faster side, and whole heaps of early Soilwork or (leaving the country, here) France’s Yyrkoon. In other words, Sanity of Impiety plays thrashed-up melodic death metal that manages to not completely ape any one influence and yet still maintains a nondescript, mostly faceless nature throughout. Much of the music herein is actually quite entertaining, especially when the band isn’t stuck in a blasting wall-of-sound approach. But a general lack of dynamics and variety, as well as a flat, muddled production (it’s decent for a demo; still, it’s a demo), keeps this from really demanding repeated listens.
When Sanity Of Impiety does introduce some variety, it comes with the band’s greatest sign of hope… and one frustrating song. “The Sinister Lullaby” is a faux melodeath ballad that could be great, had the creep-show lyrics not been more fitting for King Diamond and had the clean vocals not been phoned-in. The slower tremolo lead guitars and harmonies are the closest Sanity of Impiety comes to being compelling, but the full package brings the cheese to the wrong arena.
The upside here is that In Life We Despise is only a demo, and Sanity of Impiety is already exhibiting skills that can be built upon for the future. Quality pieces like the solo section of “In Death We Unite,” the hook of “The Ladder” or the entirety of “When Feeding the Divine” show great promise. The downside is that trying to make it in the melodic death metal realm in 2011 without possessing any drastically unique qualities is like batting in the bottom of the first inning after your pitcher has already given up a 10-spot to the visiting team: It’s a losing game.