Released: April 17th
Released By: Frontiers Music
Genre: Heavy Metal
Chris Impellitteri – Guitars
Rob Rock – Vocals
Jon Dette – Drums
James Amelio Pulli-Bass
2.0 Empire Of Lies
3.0 We Own The Night
5.0 Face The Enemy
6.0 Domino Theory
9.0 Time Machine
10.0 Holding On
It’s been six years now since Impellitteri released their last album, the critically acclaimed Wicked Maiden. A heck of a long time to wait for any album, but this is Chris Impellitteri folks, a man who defines the word perfection. Since their self titled EP in 1987, their world renowned shredder has been awarded just about every accolade from numerous guitar magazines, including fastest guitar player in the world. He has also worked with some seriously well renowned musicians over the years, the likes of legendary vocalist Graham Bonnet, drummer Pat Torpey and former Black Sabbath bassist Dave ”The Beast” Spitz have all graced Impellitteri albums. On this, his 10th studio album, he is once again joined by longtime members, vocalist Rob Rock, bassist James Amelio Pulli.
I’ve always been a traditionalist with my rock music, I always felt the albums title track, if it has one of course, should open things up. This is the case with Venom, it opens with a blood curdling scream of “are you ready” from Rock, then an avalanche of shredding ensues from Mr Impellitteri. This my friends is a masterclass in how to introduce a new record.
One of Impellitteri’s missions on recording this album was to have memorable melodies implanted in your brain long after the album finishes. Mission accomplished, Empire Of Lies is that and more, Rock’s performance is testament as to why he has been the main voice of the band for seven of the ten albums recorded.
We Own The Night is just solid classic heavy metal, including a nostalgically brilliant chorus that just rolls back the years. I’ve always counted classics like Run To The Hills, Am I Evil, Crazy Train and Breaking The Law amongst the finest metal songs ever recorded. The first time I heard them, I stopped in my tracks. That moment revisited me on my first spin of Nightmare, this should be classic is a mixed bag of brilliance, hooks, melody and breakneck mayhem.
Face The Enemy maintains much the same vibe, gilt edged vocals by the bucketful, backed up by raw power. But let’s face it, this opus is mainly about one thing and one thing only, THE AXE. Impellitteri assaults his fretboard vigorously on Domino Theory. Though vocally not as easy on the ear as the previous tracks, it doesn’t have to be, Justin Bieber could be singing and it wouldn’t matter, simply because Impellitteri is at it, and at it big style. He keeps the home fires burning on Jehova, a track the Metal God himself, Rob Halford, would love a crack at, for there’s more than a hint of modern Priest here.
One of the great things about this album is that Impellitteri doesn’t feel the need to show off where not required. I remember when the high king of showoffs, Steve Vai, replaced Adrian Vandenberg on Whitesnake’s Slip Of The Tongue album, the guy made a royal balls of it. It was David Coverdale singing and Vai in the corner jacking off his Ibanez. Tracks like Rise and Time Machine are fair trades between vocals, guitar and the relentless rhythm section of Pulli and Dette.
Holding On closes out this magnificent piece of work with another blast of melodic majesty, one of the main traits pumping through this album. If Impellitteri was to hang up his shredder tomorrow, he can relax knowing he and his band have constructed a record of grandiose proportions. Even if you only have a passing interest in metal, you would be an epic fool not to hear this.
Written by: Brian Boyle