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Does anybody know why Exodus always have shitty artworks? It began with "Fabulous Disaster" and with regard to the cover of "Blood in, Blood out", there seems to be no end in sight. "Impact Is Imminent" does not represent an exception; guess it's time to describe the music, isn't it? First off, the fourth full-length of Gary Holt's wrecking crew is much more metal than its predecessor. Half-baked fillers like "Low Rider" are unimaginable in the context of this album which does not suffer from any needless cover version. "Impact Is Imminent" is pure thrash.
Right from the beginning, Holt and Hunolt swing the axes if there is no tomorrow. John Tempesta, who has replaced Tom Hunting behind the drums, spares the costs for the fitness studio while maltreating his kit in a furious manner. Exodus are not suspected of choosing a lukewarm approach only because of the fact that the album is released by the company giant EMI / Capitol. With the obstinate behaviour of untouchable fanatics, they use their entire arsenal of thrash weapons. Too bad that the production is a rather harmless weapon. On the one hand, it creates a dense and fairly sinister atmosphere due to its comparatively dull mix. Even "The Lunatic Parade", which provides - in hindsight - the predictable link between "The Toxic Waltz" and "Blacklist", does not show a relatively funny side of the band. On the other hand, the sound lacks of differentiation and clarity. Sharp riffs are usually the feature that shapes thrash albums. But "Impact Is Imminent" follows another strategy and attacks the listener in a clunky yet very vehement manner.
Due to the increased share of thrashing components, Holt and his escorts have the element of surprise on their side. The unexpected brutality of the opening title track is a breathtaking beacon for the audience. Of course, the band does not only focus on sheer velocity, but the number of high speed parts is a clear statement. Apart from the cynical opener, I could list the rapid ending of "Heads They Win (Tails You Lose)" in this context as well as the last two songs of the album. "Changing of the Guard" is one of these two pieces. It touches my Teutonic heart, because its lyrics deal with the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the lyrics are not correlated to the reunification of Germany. Ceaucescu, the last dictator of Romania, and his likewise criminal wife are also expressly mentioned. "With their execution, so ends the tyranny / Two bullets from a rifle set the people free" - this sounds easy, but it took much more to change the situation in Europe. However, it has changed and that's the main thing. "Thrash Under Pressure", the closer of the album, does not think about politics. This anthem to the sub genre is just an intensive eruption of high velocity. Well done, although I regret that its playtime of two and a half minutes is too short.
Nevertheless, my personal favourite is not among the fast-paced songs. The riffing of "Only Death Decides" makes this mid-tempo bulldozer to a devastating giant. Don't be irritated by the less rapid approach. It does not mean that Exodus are willing to offer a less violent tune and lines like "Misery, disaster, catastrophe / Exactly how you knew the end would be" underline their intention. The riffs draw the listener into the song in a matter of seconds and confront him with the devastating summary of his useless life. No doubt, this track is a sonic authority. "Within the Walls of Chaos" does not fully achieve the quality level of "Only Death Decides", but its riffs drag across the floor in a hurtful manner. Without question, this track is also impressive due to its epic configuration.
Perhaps it is an exaggeration to say that each and every piece of "Impact is Imminent" develops its unmistakeable facets. They rather stand shoulder to shoulder like uniformed members of a successful sports team during a photo shooting. And just like real athletes, they are bursting with strength. I would have never imagined that such an album could be followed by a lame duck, but "Force of Habit" proved the opposite. Anyway, let's close the cycle. At the beginning of the review, I mentioned the bad covers of Exodus albums, but the back of the CD version takes the bun. It is identical to that of the vinyl edition with the effect that the printed lyrics look like the excrements of a fly that has suffered from diarrhoea. Bad luck for the CD generation.
The coming of the 90’s meant a fine time for a lot of thrash bands, at least for a little while before the fall of the subgenre and the definitive rise of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and friends. Many great records were made that year, some truly unforgettable you could find from Teutonic big acts like Kreator, to other European groups like Artillery, or American like Annihilator. That wasn’t the case of Slayer and Exodus, particularly. This album doesn’t sound like “Seasons In The Abyss” at all, but both records share some other similarities. Both were supposed to compile and mix elements from each previous release, follow an alternative direction from the common trend of those times and experiment with a few new characteristics in their sound. There has been too much debate about the result, but it has been mostly criticised and despised.
This is not a disaster, though. There’s some really amusing moments here. For instance, the promising first couple of tracks are totally heavy, vicious and vibrant. However, “A.W.O.L.” already starts to show certain inconsistence and weakness on its middle part, which would become critical in later cuts. The sound doesn’t feature any big difference from the “Fabulous Disaster” LP at first, riffs are still the main thing of Exodus’ music: sharp, fierce and incendiary. Although the brilliance and inspiration of the previous record stuff is lacking in these compositions. As I mentioned, riffs and the whole instrumental structure of their music is fine and convincing, but its development is not that competent. The variations on guitar lines seem unfocused, chaotic, at times lacking direction completely. The biggest proof of that inconsistency can be found on “Within The Walls Of Chaos” and the second track itself, on which riffs progress deficiently, so uninspired and repetitive. The song structures as well, seem to be the result of an exhausted song-writing process. Exodus keep their ambition, though, and attempt to offer some complexity on the instrumental passages, introducing some harmonies and melody. But those sequences become excessively lenghty, leading nowhere, as you can check on “Changing Of The Guard” specially, and “Heads They Win (Tails You Lose)”. On other hand, of course, you will always find some killer riffing, some Zetro screaming or drum beat that will impress you here, but that’s going to be an exception rather than the rule in the whole record. Other numbers are less pretentious, straighter, reaching a much decent result. “Only Death Decides” or “Thrash Under Pressure”, with that bunch of enjoyable raw riffs, insatiable speed, will might not be remembered as Exodus classics, but they are pure fun, energy and attitude. Curiously, when Holt and co. don’t try that hard to sound so difficult and technical, is when their music becomes more listenable and effective.
One of the most commented characteristics of this album is the bestial distortion of Holt & Hunolt. Indeed, they sound certainly dirty, rough and destructive, ideal for the nature of these tunes. However, guitars on Toto’s “Hold The Line” also sound heavy but that doesn’t equal musical solidity. So, the production definitely contributed to make this material sound as powerful as it should, but what is behind it, the songs, are not that superb. The main problem seems to be some lack of creativity, imagination and fresh ideas, along with an unnecessary stubborn intention to make some instrumental parts more spectacular and advanced. Pretty much of a sequel of the previous album composition “Like Father, Like Son” but weaker, whose progression and complexity fail on attempting to reach a higher level of technique. There was no need for that at all, but I guess Exodus tried to evolve and improve their ways to face the new decade and compete with the technical power thrash trend that soon would languish in obscurity once Metallica put out their infamous homonym record. But instrumentally, these guys are as good as usual. Rick and Gary are not so inspired this time, though efficient and confident on what they do, motivated on the execution of their massive guitar parts. The rabid distortion sometimes makes difficult to notice some details and lines clearly, on other hand, it provides the cuts of astonishing strength, so I can’t really say the production is a con. Zetro’s vocals are as particular as always, a mixture of Bon Scott scruffy raspy tone with Gene Simmons tenderness. The result, unique in its own way, expect no perfection. The rhythmic section lost some presence and virtuosism since Tom Hunting had to leave, but Tempesta’s skills were the appropiate replacement to fill that empty space left. And you can actually hear McKillop’s bass here, another pro for the album.
So, not a memorable work, just fun, highly entertaining and honest. In its own way, very passionate, elaborated and terrific. Not as magnificent as the group’s debut, not as versatile as “Fabulous Disaster”, it’s much more in the style of “Pleasures Of The Flesh”, but much better produced and musically stronger. With their Marshall’s volume to 11 and a devastating Guiness Record distortion, Exodus thrashed hard under pressure. Considered as the beginning of the band’s decline during the whole 90’s, this one still offers great moments, violent riffing and cool lyrics. Just like what happened with Slayer’s “Seasons In The Abyss”, this wasn’t as appreciated, acclaimed or admired as it might deserved, but certainly you can headbang to it and enjoy.
It can be plainly stated that the politically charged lyrics that tended to dominate latter 80s and early 90s thrash metal were not for everybody in the scene, and more particularly those who had grown more attached to the more occult-based and vile character of the early to mid 80s. However, the amount of derision thrown at a number of otherwise classic later thrash albums borderlines on sheer ridiculousness, particularly when it gets thrown at albums that didn't really mellow out musically. True, albums like Testament's "Practice What You Preach" were definitely not cream of the crop, and even a better representation in Xentrix's "For Who's Advantage?" shouldn't be treated as the absolute final word in the genre, but equivocation between a handful of duds and an undeniable hard-hitter of an album in "Impact Is Imminent" is where the line should be drawn.
From start to finish, this album is a punchy wrecking machine of riffs and attitude that rivals Overkill's "Horrorscope" in how easily it kicks the teeth right out of one's mouth. With all the speed and madness of something more readily heard out of Vio-Lence's "Eternal Nightmare", the runaway train that is the title song "Impact Is Imminent" is arguably one of the best songs out of the entire Exodus catalog. The crunch factor from the guitars and the irreverent snarls of Steve Souza meld together perfectly and, at times, almost sound like they might have influenced the handiwork of the two latest Overkill albums. And not being one to be pigeon-holed into only being on their A game when cooking at full speed, "Only Death Decides" delivers a similar assortment of pummeling goodness at more of a mid-pace.
Much of what occurs in the middle section of this album is actually a bit slower and not quite as complex by the standards of previous albums, but it doesn't get anywhere near boring and has a lot going on to compensate for any lack of absolute mayhem going on in the rhythm guitar department. The amount of guitar gymnastics going on during lead breaks is impressive, as if a dueling twin guitar attack version of what Kirk Hammett did on "...And Justice For All" was translated into the arrangement, only without the overuse of the wah pedal and some actual feeling apart from sheer venting being present. Souza's vocal assault also brings an interesting twist into the occasion, taking on a slightly sleazier character and when combined with the frequent gang chorus chime-ins gives this a slight Anthrax flavor.
Perhaps the only thing that really holds this album back a little is that the pacing is a bit heavy on the speed around the edges while the middle is largely lingering in mid-tempo land. The cut-throat speed and aggression of "Impact Is Imminent" sets the bar really high, and it doesn't quite get met again until near the end with "Changing Of The Guard", another fast paced highlight of this album that manages to maintain a faster and furious tempo for most of the time while going through a whole series of twists and turns reminiscent of Metallica's finer moments on "...And Justice For All", though with a much more optimistic view of a more specific political outcome. And things end on an even higher note still with the punk-infused thrasher "Thrash Under Pressure", clocking in at under 3 minutes yet cutting heads with the same ferocity as its near 7 minute predecessor.
What it ultimately comes down to with this album in relation to the previous 2 (for those who have heard the band's 80s catalog but not this one) is roughly the same divide that separated "Peace Sells" from "Rust In Peace". It's a somewhat more melodic and drawn out affair, delving into somewhat different lyrical content, but it still basically hits the mark equally as hard. It can be debated to the end of time to what extent a lot of these bands actually understood the things that they wrote about, but ultimately it all comes back to how much the musical content batters the listener into headbanging obedience, and "Impact Is Imminent" definitely leaves an impression, right in the upper part of the skull.
This is the PERFECT thrash masterpiece! If you call yourself a metal fan you must own this record. All nine songs kick your ass into submission and make you headbang until you're concussed.
For starters, Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt are by far the best guitar duo in metal history. They just lay one unrelenting riff after another on this album and don't get me started on the trade off solos. Second, Steve Zetro Souza, although he has a unique voice that takes some getting used to, puts on his best performance here. John Tempesta of White Zombie does a solid job on drums, but he's no Tom Hunting. Rob Mckillop's bass, like on most thrash albums, is inaudible.
All the songs on this album are solid and there is absolutely no filler to be found. The title track opens the album and has a faster pace than most of record. The lyrics are humorous and Zetro's vocals are great on this track, but it has the most underwhelming solo on the album. A.W.O.L. is next. It's a slightly slower-paced track and sets the tone for what's to come. The Lunatic Parade, a mid-paced track that's probably the slowest on the album, is very similar to Toxic Waltz, a fan favorite from the previous record, Fabulous Disaster. Within The Walls Of Chaos is a nearly eight minute track that has a great solo and very nice riffs throughout. Objection Overruled, the single that received a video, is a quicker-paced humorous song about the judicial system and is one of Souza's strongest efforts (the videos pretty funny if you feel like checking it out). Only Death Decides is one of the more serious tracks and has one of the coolest riffs of all time to go with an awesome solo. Heads They Win, Tails You Lose is a track that's so long it may take a few listens before you can appreciate it. Changing of the Guard is another more serious track that has more tempo changes and a nice vocal track by Souza once again. Thrash Under Pressure, which is the fastest-paced song on the album, is probably the only low point of the album.
Recommended tracks: Within the Walls of Choas, Impact is Imminent, Only Death Decides, Heads They Win, Tails You Lose.
There is no reason why I shouldn't love this album. On paper, it's got everything I've wanted out of Exodus since Bonded by Blood: louder bass, gritty vocals, and competent drumming. But for some reason, I just can't love it. On paper, this is the best Exodus album. To my ears, not so much.
Don't get me wrong, it's a fucking killer album. It's got some of my favorite Exodus tunes on it, the production is far better than it was on the previous albums, and so on. But there's just something about it that turns me off about it. Believe me, I've tried to see what's wrong with it. But so far, I think it's the riffs and the lyrics, they're great, but not very memorable like the ones on Fabulous Disaster.
Now on to the positive aspects of the album. The production, like stated before, is much better, Zetro yells like a fucking demon, John Tempesta is an acceptable replacement for Tom Hunting, the duo of Hunolt/Holt slip up a bit, but are still quite capable of kicking your ass, and you can actually hear Rob McKillop's bass.
If there's one thing that got better, though, it's the solos. I didn't care for the ones on Pleasures of the Flesh or Bonded by Blood, and they seem to have improved a lot since Fabulous Disaster.
Contrary to what I may seem to be saying, I actually think it's an underrated album. It's not a major fuck up, but it's not something to put on a pedestal like Fabulous Disaster.
There are some surefire classics here that kick your ass through and through until the end. Such as the title track, A.W.O.L., Thrash Under Pressure, and Objection Overruled. But most tracks have the problem of losing my attention halfway through the song. Such as Changing of the Guard, The Lunatic Parade, Only Death Decides, and Heads You Win (Tails You Lose). There's no stinker on this album, but they just don't grab me.
That being said, it's still a killer album and one of the most underrated in the Exodus catalog. If you're a new Exodus listener, then don't mind me, I'm just nitpicking, you should totally listen to it.
While some people may place "Force In Habit" as the top contender for the undesired title, it seems to be generally accepted that this 1990 effort may be Exodus' weakest album to date. It was also the first album to feature White Zombie/Testament drummer John Tempesta as well the last to have bassist Rob McKillop. Well, at least there aren't any cover songs this time around...
While most of their peers at this time found ways to either simplify their sound or make it more complex, Exodus somehow managed to do both at the same time with this album's songwriting. The riffs are generally more simplistic than before and often flirt with slower grooves at times, but the song structures and choruses are even more elaborate than those heard on "Fabulous Disaster." It sometimes helps make a few songs enjoyable but there are about as many times when they seem to lose steam. Fortunately there is still some thrash to be found here and there on songs such as "Objection Overruled" and "Only Death Decides"...
In spite of the slowly changing style, the band itself still puts on a decent performance. The bass seems to be in the background a little more but the guitars are nicely played and seem to be heavier than on past efforts. Zetro especially shines on the album and may be delivering one of the best performances of his career. The maniacal laughter that is thrown at the end of some verses is a little random, but his snarls and sneers are quite enjoyable to listen to. Definitely makes the lyrics a little more interesting...
Speaking of lyrics, the songs on this album predictably pick up where those on "Fabulous Disaster" left off. A few of the topics at hand include addiction ("Impact Is Imminent," "Within The Walls of Chaos," "Heads They Win (Tails You Lose)"), politics ("AWOL," "Changing of the Guard"), thrash ("The Lunatic Parade," "Thrash Under Pressure"), good ol' fashioned violence ("Only Death Decides"), and a nasty ode in the vein of "Verbal Razors" ("Objection Overruled"). Unfortunately, the lyrics feel like they were hastily constructed in spite of their great quantity and often come off as juvenile and lacking wit.
In addition to the weaker lyrics and struggles in experimentation, one of the album's biggest flaws seem to be its derivative moments. There are a few riffs on here that range from familiarity to all-out plaigarism. "AWOL" features a riff that seems to have been borrowed from Overkill's "Nothing To Die For" and "Charging Of The Guard" starts off with a really promising intro until you realize that it's more or less a carbon copy of the "Fabulous Disaster" title track's beginning...
I really didn't like this album when I first listened to it, but it has grown on me over time and features some pretty good tracks to balance out some of the filler. I'd recommend checking out some of the faster tracks on here; the band was still working on their mastery of consistently slower tempos...
1) Strong guitars and great vocals
2) Still some thrash to be found
3) Interesting change in direction
1) A few filler tracks
2) Juvenile lyrics
3) Derivative moments
4) Less bass than before
My Current Favorites:
"Impact Is Imminent," "AWOL," "Objection Overruled," "Only Death Decides," and "Thrash Under Pressure"
'Impact is imminent' is the 4th studio album by legendary thrash metal band exodus. The album can be pretty much summed up by the word 'immaturity'. This is a band writing songs about non-sense, It's all about breaking stuff up and jumping around like maniacs. There are some failed attempts at serious song-writing such as 'A.W.O.L' and there are some mosh-pit pleasers like 'The lunatic parade'.
The album is pretty silly, The title track begins with the same mid-paced chug riffs and unfitting solo. Zetro's vocals are all over the place as he describes a drunk guy going off the road and hitting a ramp. Yes. That's about as much sense as this album can make. Maybe you'd enjoy this with an absence of coherent thought or common sense. The tracks after the first 2 are classic mid-paced thrash tracks, 'A.W.O.L' is a half decent track where they attempted write other lyrics rather than the usual "Metal rules!, if you don't agree, you suck" songs. It's just a band attempting to be serious but just failing to get the point across to the listener. 'The lunatic parade' is similar to 'Toxic waltz' from the previous album but only worse. The lyrics aren't that catchy and the guitar work and drums feel recycled from their earlier albums.
The biggest problem i have with this album are the mid-paced sections which go nowhere, They just get stuck in a groove and never progress further. There are some fun moments here and there but they're overshadowed by the lack of creativity and vision of this band. The crew is no doubt quite talented, Gary holt is one of the best guitarists of all, But It's not enough to save this half-decent album.
The production is pretty good, The guitars sound crisp, The drums sound 'impact-ful'. It just gets repetetive very fast and by the time you get to the final track 'Thrash under pressure', Which is arguably an exodus classic, you don't care anymore. There are 3 half-decent tracks on this album worth downloading. Buy this album only if you are die-hard exodus fan who'd be happy just to own a picture of your favorite band sitting in a car.
I didn't much care for "Fabulous Disaster" after a while, as it seemed Exodus were losing their edge in favor of acceptability on (E)M(P)TV. I am glad to say that this album proved me wrong when it came out! While they were indeed slowing it down noticeably in the tempo department, the edge and aggression were still there and then some, and the attitude was there in spades. I can't see why some people pan this album simply due to the fact it's not "Bonded by Blood" part zillion, and as for the slower riffs, hello! The title track of "BBB" had its slower parts, most notably the chorus, so what's the deal with criticizing this album for that element? Let me elaborate on why this was the last really good album Exodus released until they got it back together with "Tempo of the Damned".
The title track kicks things (in the nuts) off with a concentrated and controlled blast of anger focusing in the idiocy of driving drunk a la M.O.D.'s "Accident Scene", but more serious and with even better playing. As per usual, the H-Team scatters riff shrapnel every which way with an amazing guitar tone (in fact, this whole album was impeccably produced by them) and their customary amazing lead breaks. This is thrash, but it's controlled speed that comes off as effective since the band is tight, together, and more powerful for it.
"A.W.O.L." is a more mid tempo number, as are the likes of "Lunatic Parade" and "Only Death Decides", as well as "Within The Walls of Chaos" (where Zetro attempts a more melodic vocal approach on the choruses) , but as opposed to seeming stodgy, these tunes bristle with teeth and aggression. "Only Death Decides" has some especially nasty lead work, and while "Lunatic Parade" does indeed nick the riff from "March of the S.O.D.", it does so with deadly intent, and even Rob McKillop gets in on it with a growling bass break at the end of the solo section. "Objection Overruled" has some amusing lyrics (Exodus have always been good for some really scathing lyrical fare) and while it is probably the slowest and most melodic song on the album, it still packs a ten ton punch. Listen closely at the end of this one for some hilarious studio bantering between Rick and Gary!
New boy at the time, John Tempesta, puts in a solid and tasteful drum performance on this album in general, his more grounded style working well with the more groove-oriented elements introduced on this album (more so than on "Fabulous Disaster"), and the cracking drum sound really enhances this. Yes, I said "groove". Normally I feel that groove and metal are two mutually exclusive things, especially with the surfeit of crappy bands out there using the excuse of being a "groove-oriented" band to make up for their lack of creativity and musical ability. In other words, they can't play a solo worth a damn and knock other bands for doing so; Exodus took the groove thing and made it work alongside their usual potent musical chops, melding their thrash mania roots with a more structured approach and still retaining everything that made them special on this album.
The only issue I have with Exodus on this album (most of the time, in fact) is that their choruses are three times as long as their verses! This is unfortunately a trait they've become known for, and while I find it irritating, I can handle it when an album this good comes down the pike and stuffs its fist down my throat with such authority. Which it did at the time it was released--in fact, I wrote this entire review from memory of this album--and it still stands tall and strong, and proudly in my metal collection. I stand behind this album more or less totally.
Late 80s - the very first years of the 90s and the last good thrash metal albums that were coming. Most of the historical bands releasing their albums in this period featured some changes if compared to the first years of the 80s. The speed was not that necessary anymore because the groove influence started to play an important role and the structures have become quite technical. Artillery, Overkill, Defiance and Heathen are just few examples of this new wave of doing thrash metal. Probably this new style was a sign of the future decadence of this genre but the bands were able to create very good albums in most of the cases.
Exodus is back after one year from Fabulous Disaster and this new album has been called Impact is Imminent. They already featured a perfect production on the last two albums and even this time we’ve more than something to be happy about. First of all, after the introduction to the title track, check the guitars tone. The crunchy, massive and corrosive distortion is the most evident characteristic of this album. The riffs are always fast, numerous like a colony of termites eating our ears away. The tempo is already fast, on up tempo and remains the same all over the track. The vocals here are far more convincing than the ones we will find on the next albums. The childish and scratchy tonality of Souza is unbelievably powerful and nasty. He’s always at the top in inspiration, in change of tonalities and he always gives the right load these tracks deserve.
“A.W.O.L.” is again fast but alternates some more grooving moments. The riffs are always immense and the vocals are just relentless: they keep on shouting without a time to take breathes. “The Lunatic Parade” is more grooving but extremely catchy and easy to be memorized. The melodies by the guitars will remain in your head for a long time, for sure. “Within the Walls of Chaos” features a bigger length and the typical thrash metal riffs are often mediated with the groove elements in a crescendo of intensity and dynamism, reaching the climax by the chorus and the guitar solo. The tempo is generally mid-paced but the band manages to keep high the intensity even during these, more risky parts. “Objection Overruled” gives more fuel for the speed restarts and this is a good idea. By the way, it’s good to notice how often the band settles down on faster kinds of mid-paced tempo instead of pointing on the pure, uncontaminated up tempo. Is this a sign for the groove to come?
“Only Death Decides” is longer but the riffs never get tired of destroying the chords. They are relentless and they put out always incisive and catchy parts. However, at this point I would have some faster parts in order to break a bit the mid-paced intensity of the groove elements. For this present I must wait for the second part of the longer “Heads they Win (Tales you Lose)” and they come with the good guitars solos. We go on with this up tempo till the beginning of the following “Changing the Guard”. Here the lead lines are preponderant during the first part and the guitars play a lot on this alternation of lead to rhythmic. The bass drums restarts are welcome but in few parts we inevitably fall into some more mid-paced sections. Anyway, the fast parts are the most important element on this track and that is good for me.
The last, short “Thrash Under Pressure” is unbelievably fast and brutal. Everything the band didn’t put out in speed on the previous track is concentrated here to annihilate us. The riffs are on stop and go technique but it’s played fast! The refrain is easy to be recognized while the rest is simple and direct. This is a perfect track to end this good album of thrash metal. Impact is Imminent is more than probably the last good album by Exodus. Get it and prepare to bleed out of you ears.
Hell Yeah, this is pure thrash metal from 1990, that's for sure. Is it dated? It sure is, but does it still kick ass? Absolutely.
Whereas the Fabulous Disaster album was a bit on the experimental and quirky side, this album is a more refined, more finely tuned thrasher with some real nice qualities about it. Firstly i'd like to talk about how it sounds. The guitar sounds hellaciously crispy and crunchy yet at the same time ultra clean. This particular sound works very well for thrash riffs that are precise and very power-chord chugg oriented; after all not everything needs to sound like a raw chainsaw in order to grab you by the balls. I find this ultra clean type guitar sound to be terrifically in your face and works for Exodus riffs better than any other sound.
Another asset that makes this a great thrasher is the attitude and delivery of none other than Steve "Zetro" Souza. Now, much has been documented about how Steve's nasally and mid-ranged style vocals are of the love em' or hate em' variety and that Paul Baloff was the man etc. etc. But one of the main ingredients that made former Exodus frontman Paul Baloff (R.I.P.) the quintessential thrash frontman, was his large as death attitude. Attitude is something that Zetro displays a lot of on this album.
As a long time listener of Exodus, I occasionally revisit all the eras of the band and I have to say that on 1987's Pleasures Of The Flesh album, it seems like new vocalist Zetro had too huge of shoes to fill in by replacing the much adored, ultra violent Paul Baloff and it was obvious that Zetro Souza was not Paul Baloff and it took him another album after that point and 3 years later to really develop himself and let his attitude become more apparent; and on this album he snarls, laughs hideously, mocks, judges, growls, and berrates the sheepish with his pandering of all things thrash attitude with a capital A and T respectively. While he's not even nearly as pissed off and brutal as Paul was on 1985's Bonded By Blood debut, he really seems to have come into his own on this album.
The songs themselves are a bit on the long side at times and the album is nearly at the hour mark, but what's great is that the songs don't feel very repetative and boring. This must be mainly in part to the much applauded guitar team of Gary Holt and Rick Hunholt AKA the H-Team. While there are no experimental salsa or acoustic passages to be found here, you will occasionally hear a maiden-esque dual guitar harmony part as on a track like Chainging Of The Guard, and many stop and go riffs and just some more thrashly things that only a guitar duo can get away. The solos make nice use of the whammy bar and oscillating freqencies to fry up your brain while it's banging. The debut of drummer Joey Tempesta, who replaced long time Exodus skin basher Tom Hunting, shows that his skills are more than adequate here and he even finds his own place in the mix which is mostly dominated by rhythm guitars.
Overall I feel this album is just plain good thrash metal and can and certainly should be appreciated by fans of Exodus and thrash metal in general. It's not going to surprise you with anything groundbreaking but it's a certifiable riff-fest with great crunchy guitars and lots and lots of attitude and that's what thrash is all about, at least to me. It's kind of strange to look back now and compare Exodus circa 1990 to the Exodus of 2008 and find that Gary Holt is the only member who remains out of the 5 piece band that performed on this album. Even though they were having lineup changes back then that have continued until the present day, this album is unmistakingly 100% Exodus attack.
That pretty much describes this album, very underrated. I really don't see why this album is so overlooked either. Sure, it sounds slightly more commercial than they're earlier relases, but that doesn't stop this album from kicking ass. It's pretty much an almost perfect sequel to Fabulous Disaster. The riffs are great, the solos are great, the songs are very catchy, and the production is great. The only major flaw I find in this album, is that Steve Souza's voice does tend to get pretty damn silly and incoherent at times which is why I didn't give this album a 90%, but it just makes the album slightly more humorous and fun. Other than that, this album is some of the nicest thrash you'll ever hear.
It has the lyrics and songwriting of Pleasures of the Flesh while also maintaining the fun and ultra catchiness of Fabulous Diasater, so it sounds a little like both albums. I actually enjoy this more than Pleasures of the Flesh.
The best songs on here vary a litlte. On one end, we have violent thrashers like the title track, A.W.O.L, Objection Overruled, and Only Death Decides. All of these songs have nice riffs, and the latter track inpaticular has to be the heaviest out of the four, and that solo fukcing slays! We have some nice thrash here. Then, one the other end we have songs that while they may not be as thrashy, are still fun as hell.
Changing of the Guard and Thrash Under Pressure are surely the catchiest songs on this album. The formal sounds slightly punkish in the chorus, in that it's very catchy, and the lyrics thta tlak about political issues.
Howevrer, there are songs that bring this album down a bit. Within the Walls of Chaos and Heads They Win (Tails You Lose) don't really do much for me. Borth songs are too long and the riffs are slightly weak. The Lunatic Parade sond slike an attempt at Toxic Waltz Part II, only not nearly as fun or thrashy. It's pretty much a watered down Toxic Waltz.
For the most part, this album is great from beginning to end. Aside for a small amount of filler and overtly silly moments, this album is pretty underrated. I really don't understand why this (and Force of Habit) went out of print. I wanted to get these albums, but had to either pay at least $30 to get them on eBay, or wait for the reissues (thank god for Caroline Records, hehe). So I just waited for the reiusses, and it was quite worth the wait. This album is one hell of a thrasher. Don't listen to Ultraboris this time and get the album. If you really enjoyed Fabulous Disaster, you'll at least dig this album, as it's a worthy follow up to that album. This album certainly thrashes under pressure!
This happens to most bands, they release their most critically acclaimed album, in this case "Fabulous Disaster", which was very popular, then a year later, they come out with this, and it goes un-noticed. I cannot understand why it did, as I find it a very good follow up.
First off, the production. I find it to have the perfect production, even better than Fabulous Disaster, the guitars have more crunch to them, and it's very loud in the mix, which is fine with me, yet it's not overdone, and everything else sounds good in the mix, the drums have the right tone, not overdoing the guitar, which is one thing some albums have problems with, Zetro's vocals sound even better on this, the bass isn't really heard, but when is it in metal, very rarely.
One change in the line-up, White Zombie drummer "John Tempesta" who also did some work with Testament on Low, does the drumming here, while not as technical as Tom Hunting, he does a very nice job.
The album kicks off with "Intro/Impact is Imminent" which is this albums answer to "The Last Act of Defiance" with it's very thrashy riffs, and riot shouted vocals, very catchy chorus, then theres "A.W.O.L" which is one of my favorites from this, the whole song just works so well, very pissed off sounding, the riffs absolutley shred, so does the solo.
Then theres "The Lunatic Parade" which is this albums answer to "The Toxic Waltz" it's very slow and grinding, by heavy as fuck, with some very catchy riffs and vocal lines, I'll skip to "Only Death Decides" which is another favorite of mine off this, great riffs, fast but catchy at the same time, and another very catchy chorus...and good lyrics as well, "Heads They Win, Tails You Lose" is another highlight here, not much to say about it though, just a kick ass song.
I didn't want to go through all the songs, my review would be too long, but if you liked Fabulous Disaster, and don't mind hearing it again, then I suggest finding this, because all around, it's pretty much the same, but that doesn't bother me. Great album.
When ‘Impact Is Imminent’ came out some reviewers back in 1990 were not all too positive. However I bought it anyway. Of course it was almost impossible to write a worthy follow-up to the mighty ‘Fabulous Disaster’, but ‘Impact…’ wasn’t all that bad. Just like its predecessor the album was once again filled with riff after riff only this time the average song was lenghtier. Uptempo thrashers like the titletrack and ‘Thrash Under Pressure’ are nothing less than great and pounders ‘Lunatic Parade’ and ‘Objection Overruled’ are plain excellent Exodus superiority. ‘Within the Walls of Chaos’ did have some grooving parts which were somewhat new to their sound but the storyline of the song and the very excellent chorus made this a really good song. ‘Changing of the Guard’ had some excellent thrashing moments and the chorus of ‘A.W.O.L.’ is typical quality Exodus.
So what was it that made this album a bit less interesting than its predecessors? For me the production. The guitars are too prominently mixed in and their sound is somewhat over the top. With a guitar production like this all other instruments tend to get snowed under. Most annoying however are the drums. The sound of the snaredrum is the worst part of the production, sounding like a tin can with too much reverb at times. Please do not focus too much on this because if you do, it really starts to irritate. Tempesta however is - of course - a decent drummer but I did miss Hunting’s creativity and typical style. As always the bassguitar is hardly present. Zetro is once again at his best here (‘Lunatic Parade’, ‘Objection Overruled’).
Nope, there is actually not much wrong with ‘Impact Is Imminent’. Only their previous albums were just better, making people forget this one. Today many new thrash acts however would (and should!) sell their souls to get the ability to write an album like this.
After the excellent Fabulous Disaster actually established a mark so high in the subgenre that it does not even deserve the derisive label "whiffle thrash", Exodus comes back with this album, which doesn't merely need a sticker slapped on it, but should basically be put in the Canonical Example display case, along with that horrendous third Testament LP, and most of the career of Sacred Reich. Kids, THIS IS WHIFFLE BALL THRASH. Listen once, so you know. While you're at it listen once to Opeth. Both are about as useful to the world at large, though this, admittedly, is slightly more enjoyable than 12 minute acoustic ballads. But not by much, especially after 2 or more listens.
Yep, this album completely sucks. Other than one almost accidental-sounding destroyer of worlds ("Only Death Decides"), this is filled with angsty political crap that would make the later Clash call shenanigans. Stuff like "Changing of the Guard" and "A.W.O.L." is completely redemption-free pandering to the state of the free world. The Berlin Wall hears you. The Berlin Wall doesn't care.
However, the opener is also pretty fucking good... it's like so many bands: they take all the good ideas, and throw them into one song, and we've got a winner, that could basically be on the previous album. Forceful vocals, triumphant riffs, and fast-as-fuck as good thrash is meant to be.
Then, all sorts of feces hits the fans. The choruses become more mocking, Zetro's vocals becomes more and more silly... the whole thing flops onto its rear end dies. I actually can't get through the whole thing. The riffage is weak, and the songs sound like Regurgitated Cow Fetus, in that "let's pick a riff, write some lyrics in 2 minutes, and whip it out". I must say, though, the production is a slight bit better.
The rest? Wow, what a bunch of non-winnars. "Heads They Win (Tails You Lose)" starts off damn promising, with the riff buildup not at all overlong, but then the pre-chorus and chorus are complete shit, and after about 2 minutes, there's really nothing left to hear... and 5 more minutes left in the song. "Thrash Under Pressure" - take your own advice. The song is an attempt at Toxic Waltz II, but this comes out nowhere as intentionally humorous, especially when the lyrics, as defiant as they may appear, making no sense in the context of what they are describing. "With my head held high, standing dignified, I still have my integrity..."
I think not.
For some reason, many people don't recognize this album as being a great Exodus release. I personally don't feel that this is true, nor do I feel that Exodus have EVER released anything that I consider to be weak. This album starts off with one of the most killer thrash riffs of all time, and that would be the intro to Impact is Imminent. A great song with killer lyrics and awesome background vox, not unlike their previous album "Fabulous Disaster" which was also chalk full of riot sounding Vox. Next is AWOL, which is another intelligently written song, again with awesome vocals and an intense array of thrashy riffs. The Lunatic Parade is a typical sounding Exodus song with alot of "riot" style vocals that aren't that different from say The Toxic Waltz, a real catchy, groovy thrasher. Within the Walls of Chaos...is a very political song, much like AWOL, however its not as brutal in the sense that the ferocity is not as as prevalent, but it still chugs along with some decent riffs and as always great lead guitar work from the H-Team. Objection Overruled is the video that pretty much glorified Exodus on MuchMusic and MTV's Headbanger's ball for a short while, unfortunately however, although it was a good song, it was probably one of the weaker tracks on the album and didn't really depict the overall feel of the album. Next we have Only Death Decides...this is the best track on the album, and marks the first song ever written by Gary Holt in drop D tuning. A killer song with great lyrics and an awesome riff thats as powerful as it is heavy...this should've been the song that was made into a video. Heads they Win(tails you lose) and Changing of the Guard are kinda like filler tracks, but they are still listenable and would not be considered "skip worthy" by any true metalheads standards. Lastly we have Thrash under pressure...and oh my god does this song live up to its title. An extremely hilarious tongue in cheek lyrical song that is loaded with intense thrash riffs and neck breacking rythmic patterns, a great song to end this classic, underrated album with