Impellitteri – “The Nature Of The Beast” (Frontiers Music)
‘…my guitar sound is like a chainsaw blended with a beautiful Stradivarius violin…’. One of the world’s greatest shredders, prepare yourself for the awesome mastery of Chris Impellitteri – a man who challenges himself to conquer his human limitations! A long established virtuoso since the late 80s, Impellitteri has released 10 prior albums, and now on the aptly titled “The Nature Of The Beast” he is totally stoked and burning hell fer leather all over the 12 searing tracks here – including neo classical renditions of Black Sabbath’s ‘Symptom Of The Universe’ and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Phantom of the Opera’! Joining him on this speed metal axe attack are longtime vocalist Rob Rock (Axel Rudi Pell, Avantasia, Warrior) who gives Pavarotti a run for his money and rocket drummer John Dette (Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Iced Earth) who both miraculously manage to keep up with the breathtaking speed and fret board dexterity of Impellitteri’s pick attacks, relentless riffs and blinding solos. Recorded with legendary engineer/ producer Mike Plotnikoff (Van Halen, Aerosmith, In Flames) in a grand fashion using major studios with large tracking rooms and vintage analog equipment to capture the bands live musical energy and performance, “The Nature Of The Beast” follows on from its predecessor “Venom”, which is a wise move given its popularity not in the least reflected in the band’s headline performance at the Busan Rock Festival in South Korea to 90,000 people! Despite his fearsome technical prowess, what really should be remarked about Impellitteri’s philosophy is that the songs here are precisely that, not concertos or technical speed runs, but music resplendent with catchy melodies, choruses and arrangements accessible to all listeners. On the dramatic ‘Run For Your Life’, Dette’s drums inject the matching power to Rock’s screams as Impellitteri delivers the catchy riffs and addictive melodies time and again to ensure there’s always something exciting throughout the song. The massive chorus hook as sung by Rock’s epic vocals on ‘Gates Of Hell’ is completely overpowering in its reach, almost operatic yet still very much metal and begging to be sung live when witnessing the band especially with Dette’s galloping furore and Impellitteri’s majesty backing it. Simply rippling in melody is the soulful ‘Shine On’ with its harmonious chorus led by Rock still given a literal kick from Dette who keeps hammering while Impellitteri brings in the fire of chugging riffola and ice of heart touching melodies effortlessly rolled into one another! An splendid release and utter pleasure to review – if you know the name Impellitteri, you will know what a true guitar god is.