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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 - Death After Life

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 - Death After Life





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