Impaled Nazarene – Eight Headed Serpent
Reviewed: July 2021
Released: 2021, Osmose Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Often imitated but never duplicated, there is only one Impaled Nazarene. For the last 30 years, Finland’s greatest gift to heavy metal (sorry Amorphis) has been defiling earholes across the globe with their one of a kind brand of nuclear goat fetish war metal. A filthy combination of black metal by way of speed-freak Venom, Motorhead, and Discharge worship, it’s a raucous musical blueprint that’s remained remarkably consistent for three decades – good taste or trends be damned.
But the deserts between new Impaled Nazarene records have been growing longer and longer across recent albums, with a full 7 year lull between VIGOROUS AND LIBERATING DEATH and their recently released EIGHT HEADED SERPENT. It’s easy to take bands like this for granted; they’ve always been around so why wouldn’t they continue to always be around, right? Except when they’re not and a new album surfaces that you didn’t realize was even coming out, and it’s fantastic, and you find yourself wondering where the hell they’ve been for the last 7 years and how long will it be until the next record?
But enough of the existential BS – EIGHT HEADED SERPENT is exactly what the world needs right now. As a matter of fact, it could be the “sound” of the world right now. A chaos fueled battering ram that burns hot, fast and unapologetic, aggressively bursting through the seams of a world that’s been sitting idle for the last 18 months. From the opening screams of “Goat of Mendes” to the surprisingly sludgy close of “Foucault Pendulum”, this sucker doesn’t even attempt to come up for air. Standouts like the “Triumphant Return of the Antichrist”, “Metastasizing and Changing Threat”, and “Shock and Awe” bulldoze with abandon, while the likes of “The Nonconformists”, “Human Cesspool” and the title track lean a little more intently into the band’s d-beat and crust punk inspirations. And the aforementioned closer “Foucault Pendulum” digs a doom metal grave that’s pretty epic in scope compared to the frenzied sonic assault of the preceding 12 tunes.
But all together it sounds like Impaled Nazarene, because this is what they do. Is it as spastic and frightening as UGRA KARMA? No, but it can’t stay 1993 forever and y’all need to get over it. But EIGHT HEADED SERPENT marks the glorious re-awakening of one of the underground’s most venerable and unique bands, and it sounds absolutely furious. Worship the Sadogoat and listen to Impaled Nazarene