Released: 2005, Century Media Records
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…