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Cali-goremongers Impaled have finally crawled out of the fetid sewers of studio inactivity with their new release, “The Last Gasp”. With this new release comes a host of new elements which Impaled have added to their musical formula. It seems that Sean and Ross’ time in Ghoul (no secret there, correct?) has allowed various amounts of musical approaches by taken their covert band to bleed into Impaled. For example, “The Last Gasp” bears tons of not-so-inconspicuous thrash riffing and shouted gang vocals, a path not previously explored by Impaled. While listening to this album, one may even forget that it’s Impaled at all and begin to belch along with verses from Splatterthrash.
This is not to say, however, that this release is bad. In fact, it’s not bad at all. I’ve yet to find one “bad” release from Impaled. However, a little variety would be nice. Ghoul began as band which sounded nearly identical to Impaled and now it seems that Impaled is becoming a band that sounds like Ghoul. It would seem that McGrath had created such a mammoth of extreme metal talent with Ghoul that he cannot contain the beast anymore and now it’s sinking its rancid (I say that in the best way possible) fangs into his other band, which has been active for around four years longer! Also, I don’t know about everyone else, but I consider “Mondo Medicale” to be Impaled’s opus magnum. That album can absolutely slake any metalheads thirst; if you have a thirst for aggression, morbid melody, and gore that is! I can’t help but feel that Impaled is slowly but surely losing all of these fantastic elements. Well…except for the gore concept.
But I digress.
All in all, “The Last Gasp” is sure to get you to bang your fuckin head, tank a brew or two, and disembowel that bitch down the street, but if you’re a seasoned fan of both Impaled and Ghoul, it’s nothing that you haven’t heard before. For that, I give this release a 78/100.
Actually, the above statement could’ve been the entire review.
Impaled are back after two years, and The Last Gasp is a testament to their undying aggression and medical mischief. As some of you are already aware, their 2005 release, Death After Life, was widely criticized as being a Heartwork-era Carcass rip-off, and to some extent it was true, they had lost the edge of their relentlessly grinding early days (much in the same way as Carcass themselves). Or so we thought. The Last Gasp, for lack of a better expression, is a breath of fresh, fetid air into Impaled’s lungs. Opener “G.O.R.E.” kicks you in the face with heavily punk influenced grind, even complete with cheesy gang chants and chugalug riffs (for those who detest the core scene, such as myself, do not be turned off by this, no traces of core here). Furthermore, they have almost balanced the use of Walker-esque rasps and the gurgled vocals yore, which adds a much more balanced and interesting sound. Not only have Impaled regained their grind; they also pay homage to their home, Bay Area Thrash. The riffs from songs like “Masters of Ordure”, could well have come off of Megadeth’s Killing is my Business… For those who look for Carcass worship, Imapled still have that unbeatable sense for melody, and even incorporate some of the more twisted melodies from their side-project Ghoul. These new elements all culminate in tracks such as “The Visible Man”, “You Are the Dead” and “Up The Dose” making them immediate classics.
Many wonder, “What would Impaled be without stomach churning album art?” well fret not demented gore-lings, The Last Gasp’s cover is adorned with a blindfolded woman who has evidently just vomited up her own innards. What more could you ask for?
The real question it boils down to is, is Impaled another Carcass clone, the answer is an emphatic and wholehearted no. Though their approach is based on that of the grand masters (Carcass) they bring in other influences like punk and thrash. Furthermore they approach similar issues with a sense on humor and adolescent fun, and no one likes a gore grind band that take themselves too seriously. All in all, this is on my album of the year list.
Originally for: www.leviatan-magazine.com