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Impaled
Death After Life
March 2005
Released: 2005, Century Media
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Madman

An Impaled album on Century Media? An Impaled album without a song about feces? A concept album you say? Have Impaled sold out, grown up, or even matured?! Dear god I hope not. I’m sure most already know by now but if you don’t Impaled’s “Death After Life” is indeed being released through Century Media. I can also attest to the fact that it does not have any songs about feces and yes, it’s a concept album… have they sold out? No, and they still have a sick sense of humour.



Impaled are still playing a style that everyone is going to instantly compare to Carcass but I still don’t get the comparisons. Vocally I’d say the bands are rather close but I think in overall feel Impaled’s music feels a lot “dirtier” and especially on the last two full lengths I think they have exhibited a different sense of melody while tending to be a bit thrashier at the same time.



Creating a concept album is definitely a different approach in the more extreme realms of heavy metal, although the band already did an amazing job on the DEMENTIA REX split with Haemorrhage. It's still the same Impaled lyrically, even with a storyline to follow, as the songs follow four twisted doctors through their experiments, murders and unneeded surgeries. To help move the storyline along the band even went and did some interlude sections with voice acting, done by the band and with tongue firmly planted in cheek of course.



The album starts off interestingly enough with a keyboard/midi piece with a voice over that gives an opening rundown of the album’s concept before “Mondo Medicale” starts off with ambulance sirens and this really dirty thrashy riff that I find interesting because of the way it changes for the tail end of it with the blast beats. The old school thrash section for the solo definitely earns major points with me as well. “Gutless” is an interesting track, with a bit of an At the Gates (SLAUGHTER OF THE SOUL ERA) vibe to it. I’m sure some out there might cry sell outs but I think they should take a listen to the band’s last release as there were some songs that were far more melodic than this.



“Wrought in Hell” utilizes melody right from the beginning with its bouncing riff and interesting melody overtop before it gives way to a heavier death/thrash direction. Eventually this heavier section moves into another utilizes a broken up version of the beginning melody. “The Dead Shall Dead Remain” comes later in the disc and was instantly my favourite track when it began with that slightly off drum beat and rocking riff that quickly morphed into a heavier version with double bass and more guitar chugging. With the second verse and the reoccurrence of the riff from the beginning things really hit a nice groove while things keep changing and swirling around.



The rest of DEATH AFTER LIFE is very much in the same vein as the ones I’ve already described with some surprises here and there. One thing that fans should take note of is that Trey Spruance of Mr. Bungle not only produced the album but also contributed a couple solos to the disc. Trey stripped off a bit of the gloss that the band had on MONDO MEDICALE, giving the band a very fitting yet rather sharp production.



For me, DEATH AFTER LIFE might be the best Impaled album so far with the band progressing a little farther, yet not falling into the trap of drifting too far from their original intentions and feel. If you are an Impaled fan or a fan of thrashing death metal with a sense of melody, I highly suggest you pick this up.
Track Listing

1. Goreverture
2. Mondo Medicale
3. Gutless
4. Theatre of Operations
5. Preservation of Death
6. Wrought in Hell
7. Resurectionists
8. Critical Condition
9. The Dead Shall Dead Remain
10. Medical Waste
11. Dead Alive
12. Coda Morte

Lineup

Sean Mcgrath - Vocals, Guitar
Jason Kocol - Vocals, Guitar
Ross Sewage - Vocals, Bass
Raul Varela - Drums

Contact

N/A

Other reviews

» Choice Cuts
by AL

» Death After Life
by Madman

» Death After Life
by Gabriel C. Zolman

» Death After Life
by MetalGeorge


Next review: » Impaled - Death After Life
Previous review: » Impaled - Choice Cuts

Impaled
Death After Life
May 2005
Released: 2005, Century Media Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

This is Carcass for kids who aren’t old enough to remember Carcass. And it rocks. This is why:



When you first heard Carcass, you got a vibe—a feeling, indescribable to anyone but a true Warrior of Metal. Remember when you first heard NECROTICISM? HEARTWORK? No? Fine…then you just might want to pick this up. I’m not exaggerating; I mean it. If you’re a newbie to the scene, this will help you understand that same thrill felt by many long ago. For certain, humorless trailer goons with Cannibal Corpse shirts and a Simon “Necronomicon” in their musky, sweat-and-semen crusted gym sacks will hate this like a Spelling Bee. But if you have a sense of humor, and a mind open to their “mondo” vibe, this can make even haggard, aging Rock Hacks like myself feel like a teen.

There is a feeling of familiarity here—you’ve heard these riffs before. But you haven’t always heard them in this order, or with this urgency. This is what separates Impaled from the countless other Carcass clones out there—a sense of urgency…immediacy, even. This is passionately wrought, fearfully and wonderfully made. This could have been released on Earache back in 1992. And all of us would have bought it, even though Carcass themselves were at their peak.



Therein lies Impaled’s most endearing and enduring coup: it is derivative, for sure—and yet remains highly original, and distinctive, in ways Carcass themselves struggled to maintain toward the end of their career. Is it cheesy? Sure; but tell me REEF OF PUTREFACTION wasn’t? The music on this CD is nothing, from a technical standpoint, we haven’t heard from one band or another…and yet it’s actually better than much of SWAN SONG or WAKE UP AND SMELL THE CARCASS. That a great big fucking deal, you know.



So is Sean McGrath (who is also a Troma employee, by the way—but don’t hold it against him) a better guitarist than Michael Amott? I choose not to answer that. But he is at least as proficient and sufficient as Michael’s SWAN SONG replacement, if not slightly beyond. Truly, the next disc will decide this, I believe. The band is at the top, but they have yet to reach their peak. Thus far, each successive release has increased the dosage incrementally; it will be interesting to see how far they go, before a tolerance sets in among the fans.



With everyone squirming in their coffins for a new Carcass reunion, bands like Impaled (as well as Splatterhouse and Ghoul, for what it’s worth) make it irrelevant. There really is no need; what are they going to accomplish—especially knowing that neither Bill Steer nor Jeff Walker really dig it anymore—that a band like Impaled, who are positively passionate and livid about it all, cannot? Carcass were in decline; their hearts were no longer in it, toward the end. A reunion would be awesome, but at the same time, forced and out-of-step. Impaled are at their best, and ready to unleash a HEARTWORK of their own. They haven’t done it yet—there’s still room for improvement here, but the gauntlet has been thrown upon the floor. Give them time; enjoy the rancid fruits of their ill-gotten deeds…and hope Columbia never knocks on their morgue doors…
Track Listing

1. Goreverture
2. Mondo Medicale
3. Gutless
4. Theatre Of Operations
5. Preservation Of Death
6. Wrought In Hell
7. Resurrectionists
8. The Dead Shall Dead Remain
9. Critical Condition
10. Medical Waste
11. Dead Alive
12. Coda Morte

Lineup

Ross Sewage – bass/vocals
Sean McGrath – guitars/vocals
Jason Kocol – guitars/vocals
Raul Varela – drums

Other reviews

» Choice Cuts
by AL

» Death After Life
by Madman

» Death After Life
by Gabriel C. Zolman

» Death After Life
by MetalGeorge


Next review: » Impaled - Death After Life
Previous review: » Impaled - Choice Cuts

Impaled
Death After Life
July 2005
Released: 2005, Century Media
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: MetalGeorge

I’ve been anxiously anticipating this new full length from these West Coast sickos ever since their previous longplayer MONDO MEDICALE split me in half back in 2002. The band had been working on this one, intriguingly entitled DEATH AFTER LIFE, for a long time, so I expected nothing less than utter perfection. The end result, while thoroughly enjoyable, doesn’t seem to fulfill all of my expectations.

I think my main problem with DEATH AFTER LIFE lies within the album’s production: it doesn’t possess enough punch or life to do justice to the righteous collection of songs the band has deployed here. Tracks like “Gutless” and “Mondo Medicale” should reach through the speakers and into my chest, but their impact is severely damaged by the sonic compression the have undergone here (the drums sound especially awful).

Sound-quality aside, however, the music here on DEATH AFTER LIFE is out-fucking-standing, which is what really matters, right? While bands ripping off Carcass seems to be sprouting like weeds these days, Impaled have much more to offer than your average group of gore-hounds. Their knack for songwriting and composition far exceeds their contemporaries in Exhumed and Aborted (both bands still kick ass, though), taking a healthy amount of influence from both classic Thrash (Bay Area) and Death Metal (Stockholm).

The NECROTICISM/HEARTWORK era Carcass influence is still there in the riff department, however, tempered with some tasteful, melodic lead guitar work. This intense level of axemanship has always been the aspect of Impaled which set them apart from other acts, and it just keeps getting more twisted and more demented with age.

The sound is what really kills this record for me, though. I just can’t get over it. It severely impedes upon the listening experience as a whole, and leaves me wondering what could have been, had the band placed as much effort into it as they obviously did to their songwriting.

I only hope this becomes rectified next time around, because it would truly be a shame to see such a talented band fall by the wayside due to one crappy-sounding album. Still, Impaled deserve your support, and this IS a rockin album…just realize what your getting into before you press “play”
Track Listing

1. Goreverture
2. Mondo Medicale
3. Gutless
4. Theatre of Operations
5. Preservation of Death
6. Wrought in Hell
7. Resurrectionists
8. Critical Condition
9. The Dead Shall Dead Remain
10. Medical Waste
11. Dead Alive
12. Coda Morte

Lineup

Sean McGrath-vocals/guitar
Raul Varela-drums
Ross Sewage-bass
Jason Kocol-guitar

Other reviews

» Choice Cuts
by AL

» Death After Life
by Madman

» Death After Life
by Gabriel C. Zolman

» Death After Life
by MetalGeorge


Next review: » Impaled Nazarene - ABSENCE OF WAR DOES NOT MEAN PEACE
Previous review: » Impaled - Choice Cuts





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