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Good but not great - 65%

zombie_hunger, September 25th, 2016

The fourth album by Exodus is a disappointment compared to the previous one, but unlike the one after this it still manages to be thrash, albeit lazily executed. There are good songs to be found, but the merely okay and the bad songs outnumber them.

It begins with the title track, and already the album's main problem becomes apparent: the awful production. Just one track in, and I want to strangle whoever mixed this thing. What would have been killer riffs are ruined by the way too muddy guitar tone which makes everything blend together. I can't pick out the individual notes in some of the faster riffs like in "AWOL." The solos provide the only moments of clarity in this sonic mess. I can't say much about the bass because for most of the album it's pretty much inaudible, drowned out by the horrible sounding guitars. Listening to this album for too long hurts my ears.

Thankfully, the other two members fare much better. Zetro is his usual charming Lemmy on helium impersonator, just how we like him and just as good as his performance on Fabulous Disaster. New drummer John Tempesta has a very similar style to Tom Hunting, so no major changes there either. However, when the faster parts kick in such as "Thrash Under Pressure" Tempesta tends to start hitting the same two things over and over again like he's struggling to keep up with the rest of the band. "Changing of the Guard" is the one fast track where he manages to really let loose while still maintaing a high speed. He's nowhere near as bad as Bill Andrews on Death's Leprosy, but it's still a minor annoyance. On the more midpaced tracks like "Lunatic Parade" he drums just fine, adding in plenty of variation without getting sloppy. As it happens, "Lunatic Parade" is one of the best songs on here, nice and short and catchy as hell with some great leads from the H-team.

Which brings me to my next point: some of the songs are just too long. The album as a whole clocks in at 49 minutes total, but it could be made much shorter and much stronger if some of the longer tracks were shortened. "Within the Walls of Chaos" is a perfect example. There is no reason a song needs to be almost eight minutes long if it only has about three riffs, even if those riffs are really good. I get bored listening to it because it just seems to drag on and never goes anywhere, becoming repetitive by the halfway point. "Heads They Win (Tails You Lose)" suffers from this as well.

The album would be vastly improved if the filler tracks such as "Thrash Under Pressure" and "Only Death Decides" were cut out completely and their riffs used to sustain the long tracks instead. Just don't change "Objection Overruled," because it's perfect as it is, definitely the purest, balls to the wall thrash track on here, though even that amazing song is held back from it's true potential once again by the ear torturing production.

So if the band had trimmed the fat this album would probably be around 32 minutes or so. The two cover songs recorded during the sessions, "Free For All" and "Good Morning," could have been added on to bring it back up to a proper full length. Honestly, these cover songs are better than most of the originals, especially the Ted Nugent one, and I wish they had been included instead being sentenced to eternal obscurity as b-sides.

Impact is Imminent has some very good moments, but they get dragged down by the not so good ones, leaving the final product a mixed bag that could have benefitted from more time spent working on it.