Reviewed: August 2000
Released: 2000, Victor Jap
Impellitterri is one of those bands that I had been hearing about for a very long time but had never heard until recently. I was lucky enough to come across this CD as it was given to me by a friend of mine. It is only available as Japanese import which is one of the reasons that I had never had the chance to get any of the bands previous material. They are extremely hard to get on this side of the Atlantic. Chris Impellitteri, guitarist extraordinare, put out the first Impellitteri E.P. in 1987 with Rob Rock on vocals. That same year he put together a new band with front man Graham Bonnet, formerly of Rainbow, Alcatrazz and MSG. They released Stand In Line but soon that lineup fell apart. In 1992 a revamped band ( Impellitteri is too hard to type 25 times in a review!) released Grin and Bear It. This time Rob Rock was back on vocals and would remain the band’s vocalist up to the present time. The rest of the bands releases include: Victim of the System (1993), Answer to the Master (1994), Screaming Symphony (1996), Eye of the Hurricane (1998) and finally Crunch in 2000. The lineup on this CD consists of Rob Rock-Vocals, Chris Impellitteri-All Guitars, James Amelio Pulli-Bass, Edward Harris Roth-Keyboards, Glen Sobel-Drums.
Its too bad that this CD is only being released in Japan because this is one great disc that metalheads the world over deserve to hear. 1998s Eye of the Hurricane was a great disc but Crunch steps above it to deliver one hell of a powerful set of tunes. “Beware of the Devil” opens up the CD with a solid kick. It has lots of double bass drums and shredding guitars. Rob Rock screams “Beware the Devil!!” Great CD opener. “Speed Demon” is a classic track with a solid riff and an awesome solo. “Wake Me Up” changes things up and slows down the tempo just a tad. Some nice keyboard effects that sound like they are right out of a 50s horror movie give this song a twisted feel. “Spanish Fly” and “Texas Nuclear Boogie” are 2 instrumentals found on the disc. The former being some fretburning gymnastics while the latter is exactly what is says. A heavy metal boogie as only Chris Impellitteri could present. “Slay The Dragon” is the highlight of the CD. This is pure powermetal . Rob Rock hits the higher stratosphere with an excellent vocal performance that marks him as an elite vocalist in the metal genre. The haunting ballad “Forever Yours” shows a different side of the band and proves that Chris Impellitteri can do more than just burn up the frets. The disc closes out with the storming track “Fear No Evil”. This is a bit of a different sound for the band as there is a very slight Pantera-ish groove to the song during the verses. Great tune.
I can’t help but wonder why this CD hasn’t been picked up for North American distribution. It is much better than many of the metal acts who get distribution deals for N.A. Everyone talks about under rated bands but these guys are the real deal. Its unbelievable that such a talented group can go unnoticed by so many metal fans. If you are into straight ahead metal / powermetal with lots of guitar gymnastics and awesome vocals then get this CD!
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