Impellitteri - Venom

Impellitteri Venom cover
Frontiers Music Srl
The amazing Chris Impellitteri, is once again back with a new album, again with Rob Rock, handling the vocals (which is a guarantee, for some kick ass performances) and a concrete rhythm section with John Dette (ex-Testament, Slayer etc.) behind the drumset, relentlessly torturing the skins and James Pulli hammering away on bass, to keep up with all the metal madness, ensuing, from the other fine gentlemen.
Following 2009’s “Wicked Maiden”, “Venom” wasn’t rushed and as a result, it feels pretty solid as well. It must be something like the 9th overall, album, by Chris and co and even if there have been a few ups and downs in the bands career, ever since they released, “Black Album” that eponymous black cover EP in 1987, shortly after their formation, they have almost always been a quality act with fairly consistent releases. Chris himself has enjoyed multiple accolades and awards, like fastest player etc., through the years, but what’s most important is the actual statement he makes through his playing and not what people think about it, although it’s indicative of in what high esteem his colleagues and the general public have him.
“Venom” erupts, with some crazy flurry of notes and Rock, screaming: “Are you ready ?”... hell, instead of “Venom”, the song could have as well be called inferno, as it’s that hot! The aural attack on the senses is constant, but it’s such a great song and the “thirst” and “taste” for rocking so evident, that the “go for the throat” approach, can be most certainly forgiven… if tracks are “that” good. Plus you got to love that lone, cymbal hit at the end after an apparent onslaught, during the previous three minutes… hahaha.
“Empire of Lies” is also a tight and hard hitting number, with some tasteful playing and another signature Rock performance. The melodic chorus, is a highlight as is Chris’ crazy solo that feels like it was recorded, at drill spinning speed...
Quite content not to let people, catch their breath “We Own the Night”, rocks quite hard, but does sweeten up things a bit. It might be a little “simpler”, but that’s not bad, in fact, “simple” is not right…more direct, would be more frank. Imp’ launches once again in one of his inimitable solos and all is good...
“Nightmare” is a more sickening, twisted number, with enough riffs in it, to cover, an album of one of those “lesser” bands that try to conceal their technical inadequacy behind, stylistic selections... it’s like the bad dream of your avid, “groove” metal player, and probably ten times more groovy, in its own sick way.
“Face the Enemy” begins with a soft intro, but soon changes that for a seriously heavy riff... Rock sounds more gravitated in this number and the grittier nature of it makes it highly enjoyable. This one “really” grooves in a big way.
“Dominoe Theory” begins with a lightning fast riff ‘n lead, combo and continues, at a similar fast pace, to melodic verses and a worthy chorus. It then introduces a pretty thrashy riff and goes on with a short/Impelli-solo and so on and so forth… cool stuff!
With Rob Rock being a bit of a Christian metal icon, “Jehova” comes as no surprise, it’s a decent mid/fast paced track with a somewhat more serious tone, that doesn’t stray from the overall album style.
“Rise” takes some time to build up, instrumentally, with a rather modern riff complex, it’s chorus, is rather unconventional, as it’s a question answer type of “shouted” one, which is not typical. I’m guessing it could have been a bit better, but still it’s not “bad”.
“Time Machine” begins with a highly infectious, guitar section and has some inspired and highly melodic verses... its chorus that only arrives past its middle is also inspired and Chris, offers another solo, that’s more unique in tone, but still, awesome.
In “Holding On”, Chris probably plays as many notes are on your average, “nu-metal” album, before the song hits the 30th second... then things sort of even out and get smoother, with the occasional lead, just ripping right through the melody. Cool.
On special editions “Rock through the Night” and “Reach for the Sky” are included as bonus tracks, which are somewhat more melodic but still very much in line with the rest of the material on the album.
Overall, Chris and co do what they know to do best. They rock. “As It should be”, is an apt description for “Venom”... the polar opposite of the UK, grandads of black metal then… in terms of technique and inspiration.