IMPELLITTERI: The Nature of the Beast

The voice of melodic metal Rob Rock and guitarist extraordinaire Chris Impellitteri are both consummate musicians with an enviable musical history behind them, but there is a certain heavy metal magic that happens when the two of them work together. They have a way of pushing each other to their best performance, making every Impellitteri album a highly anticipated affair, thus the multiple album reviews for you, our readers. Chris Impellitteri also has a way of crafting his guitar wizardry into catchy melodic speed metal tunes without sacrificing melody, or wanking away at the expense of the band, like a certain other Swedish axeman. It’s newcomer Jon Dette’s (Slayer) 2nd time on the skins, and he proves that he’s got the speed to keep up with band on the skins.

The Nature of the Beast isn’t a concept album, per se, but with both album covers displaying a werewolf, many of the songs keep coming back to a recurring theme of fighting against man’s sin nature. In “Hypocrisy” the devil taunts us and we see just who’s nature it is we’re talking about. “Masquerade” references the recent Hollywood sex scandals and how we try to hide our sins while putting on a good face for everyone else. In “Run for Your Life” it’s the nuclear ambitions of rogue nations- “…everyone’s addicted to the power of the beast.” “Do You Think I’m Mad” turns the classic Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde tale into a cautionary tale about man’s struggle against his sinful nature. And then in “Kill the Beast” the listener is admonished to “…come to me and I’ll set your spirit free… Face your fear. Kill the Beast!” “Fire It Up” and “Shine On” encourage us to keep fighting the good fight. Though it is a daily struggle, know “that you can never be defeated.” Though Impellitteri is not a Christian band, I always appreciate their uplifting lyrics, courtesy of Mr. Rob Rock. “Wonder World” takes a jab at modern technology. Just where is it we’re going? “Man of War” is a much appreciated salute to soldiers everywhere. Two cover songs are included: “Phantom of the Opera” is a fantastic metal version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber opera theme that is a true delight. In high school an English teacher of mine decided to introduce poetry to her students by playing Iron Maiden’s version of “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and I was equally transfixed. “Symptom of the Universe” is an Impellitterized version of the Sabbath tune. Once again, the fastest fingers in the West employ the “all killer, no filler” formula in some of the fastest melodic metal out there. (Frontiers) 4.5 out of 5 stars

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