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Pretty much as generic as it gets. - 65%

Whackooyzero, September 26th, 2011

Well, this certainly won't be a hard album to review. You see this is definitely an "attitude" album, complete with definite hard rock tendencies and repetitive song structures that don't really go anywhere. I call this type of album and "attitude" album because it's general purpose is to cause people to go "wow man, that was a wicked guitar solo" or "what a killer riff!". Basically it means the focus is less on songwriting and the actual music, and more on just being a fun party album.

The thing that makes this different from similar party type bands is of course the fact that Impellitteri is a much more metal band than most of those other bands. There is some solid metal riffing here for sure, such as in "I'll Be With You" or "Kingdom of Light" but it fails to stand out much since every song sounds practically the same. Sure, they aren't exactly the same song but they are all basically mid paced, chuggy party tunes that all follow the same structure. It's just verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-end and that's it for every song, though a few do have a bridge. The sole exception to this rule is Chris' guitar showcase "17th Century Chicken Pickin'" which is definitely impressive, and generally nice to listen to but doesn't hold up as one of the best guitar showcase songs.

I will say that Chris has a very good guitar tone, with a fairly beefy rhythm sound and a gorgeously smooth lead sound not to mention he's pretty amazing at composing a shred solo. He's almost like a cross of Gary Moore (in the way his solos have definite phrases and sections) and Yngwie Malmsteen (with the lightning speed picking and classical influence). In fact, every solo on this album is amazing especially "Rat Race" and Chris is really good at taking his otherwise not so distinct style, and ever so subtly putting his stamp on whatever song he's playing on. So those are definitely positives, as is Rob Rock's vocal delivery which definitely sounds like he's into what he's singing even when what he's singing isn't really all that great.

Aside from that, the album just isn't very good. As I said before it's got a definite hard rock influence and feel, which does get on my nerves as I've never liked that feel or style very much but I don't completely hold it against a band if such a sound pops up. The reason is doesn't work for Impellitteri on this album is because it's just not very well incorporated into the otherwise Yngwie type sound. Take for example the aforementioned "Kingdom of Light": it's probably the best song on here, with a very soaring main melody and general powerful feel, but the hard rock style verses don't mesh with the rest of the song very well and it could've been a lot better if it lacked those sections. Also, the rhythm section doesn't do anything remotely mentionable the entire time and with the exception of some cool unison lines in "17th Century Chicken Picken'", neither does keyboardist Edward Harris Roth.

So yeah that pretty much sums up the whole album. I could namedrop other songs, but it really wouldn't make much a difference as I'd just be repeating myself a lot. Don't get me wrong, I do like Impellitteri (the band) on a few other albums, but Screaming Symphony is not really one of them. Style wise it's the same as the rest of their albums, and quality wise it's not really a stand out negatively or positively in fact you could easily take this review and apply it to 90% of the rest of their albums and it would fit pretty nicely. Overall, not a bad album but it's not really worth your time. If you want something in this kind of style that's awesome, check out some Axel Rudi Pell from the same era or the other two Impellitteri albums this one is sandwiched in between.