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Review: Impellitteri - Venom

Label: Frontiers Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 40:33
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: June 27, 2015
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 4/5 (80%) (13 Votes)

Guitarist Chris Impellitteri and his eponymous band have been around since the late 80s cranking out Traditional Heavy Metal built around some top-notch neo-classical shredding. As is the case with neo-classical guitarists there is always a tug-of-war between writing great songs and writing songs that are merely conveyances for great solos. Yngwie Malmsteen, probably the best known musician playing this style and certainly one of the pioneers, has struggled his whole career to find that balance so any time something similar comes across my desk for review I wonder what I'm going to get.

Have no fear guitar fiends and Traditional Metal fans as Impellitteri and crew have created a fantastic mix on 2015's Venom. Attention has clearly been paid to the riffs as well as the solos with tracks like "Venom" and "Time Machine" evoking the late 80s output of bands like Racer X, Alcatrazz and Alice Cooper's Raise Your Fist and Yell and Trash period (don't deny that you are singing the chorus to "Poison" in your head right now). It doesn't hurt that Rob Rock provides the vocals and has come up with some awesome lines and choruses that will stick in your head almost immediately. The sound is thick and heavy and Impellitteri's guitar has a ton of crunch. Overall Venom is extremely consistent across all 10 songs with some a little better than others but no stinkers whatsoever.

Obviously there's nothing you haven't heard before but the combination of fantastic riffs, excellent singing and amazing lead work should have fans of Yngwie's Marching Out album, Rainbow/Dio, early Loudness and a host of others throwing fists in the air and reaching for the air guitar.

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