Impaler - 'Cryptozoology' (MVDaudio) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz E   
Monday, 18 October 2010 06:00

cryptozoology176Cryptozoology - the search for animals which are considered to be legendary or otherwise nonexistent by mainstream biology. Also the title of the latest album from Minnesota horror rock legends Impaler.


Subtitled 'Creatures Of God?', this is an album by a band that many may believe are, like the subject matter of this crazed creature concept album, consigned to legend. But, after over a quarter of a century of shocking and rocking, Bill Lindsey's terror troupe are alive and kicking out the jams.


After scaring the starch out of the knickers of Tipper Gore and her soulless collaborators in the mid eighties and having their first born - the infamous 'Rise Of The Mutants' - getting a major shout out in the movie Trick Or Treat that will always hold a special place in my black heart, you would be excused for thinking that Impaler mothballed their stage gear and disappeared. But the band never really went away. It lay dormant for a while, preserved in a block of ice maybe, but it was never gonna go away.......


Yes, an album on which every track is based upon a different mythical beast may now be considered a total schlockfest but, guess what, that is why it is so entertaining. Bands that don't take themselves too seriously are few and far between these days and if it takes a horror metal band notorious in the eighties to slap a shit-eating grin on my face then so be it. The Jersey Devil, The Loch Ness Monster, The Mothman, Chupacabra and The Abominable Snowman are just a claw full of beasts featured on this album, and it is that first-named creature that, after some old school backward masking, gets things underway with the first song proper of 'Cryptozoology'.


Straight away it hits me; Impaler have made a major mistake by which they will be judged by other 80s bands now on the comeback trail - they don't sound dated. They aren't trawling out the old power ballads to get the moms moist. They sound good. That first track houses several tips of the hat to Slayer, a vocal line here, a guitar break there, that should immediately tell you how heavy duty this set of songs is. But it was the punk element to the sound that really surprised me. I was aware that the band had covered some classic tunes by The Stooges and MC5 on their early releases but I still didn't expect that dirty punk rock needle to be injected so deep into the sound of the band in this day and age, so much so that, at times, Lindsey's vocal delivery reminds me of Roger Miret of Agnostic Front.


Of particular interest to UK Über Röckers will be the songs 'Behemoth In The Lake', devoted to the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, and 'Hellhounds', based on both the legend of The Hound Of The Baskervilles and a massive wall of gnawing riffmongery. And of interest to audiophiles, collectors and über-nerds in general will be the tasty artwork wrapped around this beast - old school cool; nothing beats the passion and effort that goes into trying to offer good product. A whole world away from a series of ones and zeros on a computer screen.....


Just in time for Halloween, check out Impaler and realise that the mutants never really went away.....