Aug 21, 2011

Impaler (Japan) 'Nightmare Attack' review


IMPALER (Japan) 
'Nightmare Attack'
(MDD Records)
It seems that Japan has become a prime location for cultivating bands in this new thrash resurgence. With great new Thrash bands like Fastkill and Grief of War popping up and making excellent albums, my curiosity was piqued when this album was brought to me for review.
Impaler is Japanese thrash metal band that formed in 2006, and have released only this one debut album, 'Nightmare Attack'. And that’s about all the information I could find about the band from their MySpace page, due to the band’s broken English and my inability to read Japanese. But none of that really matters anyway. What it boils down to is the music itself. So let’s expound on that, shall we?
'Nightmare Attack' is an 11 track album (including intro) with only two tracks exceeding the five minute mark, meaning that this was going to be a wild ride of a thrash album, most likely fitting as many riffs and notes into a 3 minute song as possible. But I wasn’t completely right about this.
The album kicks off with a mediocre, and fairly boring, intro. The riffs are repetitive, and they don’t do much to grab your attention, but seeing as this was only an intro track, I didn’t let this set my expectations for the rest of the album, and I’m glad I didn’t, because Impaler had a lot to bring to the table. The vocals are what got me from the beginning. Shrill, maniacal howls and shrieks erupted from my speakers, and immediately demanded my full attention. This vocal style is very reminiscent of Fastkill’s Toshio Komori. What is it with these new Japanese bands and awesome vocals?
Also, it became apparent that, unlike many new Japanese thrash bands, Impaler had a knack for being able to effectively change up the tempos in their songs. This album has a lot of energy, and is full of wild, fast thrashing, but with lots of mid paced Thrash riffs and powerful grooves, including a crushing breakdown in “I’m Alive,” the pounding bridge in Dozaemon,” and many riffs in “Ash.” Impaler aren’t afraid to get heavy when they need to be, and it’s good to see a thrash band that’s not set to light speed the whole time. 
That being said, Impaler often find themselves riffing at blazing speeds, drums and bass galloping wildly below the savage guitarists, who seem to show a lot of good Vio-Lence influence on this album, such as the rapidly tremolo picked, palm muted, single string riffs in “Dozaemon.” The guitarists definitely hold their own on this album as far as speed, competence, and dynamics, but that being said, there’s really not much going on with this album to make it stand out. The solos are good, but not spectacular, or even memorable. The riffs, and even the songs as a whole, come off as mostly generic thrash with some interesting grooves thrown in. It’s nothing that you wouldn’t expect from any other new thrash band, but this album lacks the creativity and originality of even those. 
Impaler definitely has a talent in switching it up in their songs, being able to switch from wild, savage riffing, to heavy, mid paced thrash grooves, which makes their music more interesting, but ultimately, as you continue to listen to the album, it brings nothing that can really engage you. 
However, while it may not be anything new, this album is fast, fun, high energy thrash metal that can pump you up a few times before you get bored and move on, and while it may be far original, there are shining moments on this album, see “Dozaemon,” and “Junk Brain,” and while moments of real creativity are hard to come by on 'Nightmare Attack', I still found a good bit of enjoyment in its raw energy. [6] 
(Andrew Oliver)
 

No comments:

Post a Comment