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Review: Impaler - Old School Ghouls
Old School Ghouls

Label: Root Of All Evil Records
Year released: 2002
Duration: 39:12
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: July 25, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Old School Ghouls

Rated 3.8/5 (76%) (5 Votes)

The first -and only- time I had heard of Impaler before was in a review that simply said that the band sucked (and, since then, I've come to the conclusion that the reviewer in question has completely lost it anyway...) Based on the band's name, I assumed it was probably just one of those "gore death metal" bands and was more than happy to ignore it. Fast forward a couple of years when I ran into the label's owner at Classic Metal Fest, who told me that Impaler was in fact a kind of "horror metal" in the vein of Alice Cooper. AH! Sounds interesting, and it is...

Impaler follow in the same steps as Alice Cooper and his "shock rock" thematic, albeit in a more light-hearted, crazier and humourous fashion. The album opens up on a track that sounds like it came from an horror movie and then it's non-stop rock 'n' roll for nearly 38 minutes, ending on a reprise of the opening track. Imagine horror lyrics with music that borrows from both the mighty Motörhead and the Alice Cooper-style heavy rock/metal, plus a bit of punk overtones, and that gives an idea of what to expect from Impaler (at least on this album-I'm not familiar with the rest of their catalogue.) The vocals are much more Alice-inspired than the music and the clean-yet-raw style fits the music and the horror theme very well. There's a couple of covers on the album, "Dead Babies" by Alice Cooper and "Psycho Therapy" by The Ramones, both scattered in the track listing without breaking the mood of the album (i.e. they're not stuck at the end of the album.)

There's a CD-ROM video track for the song "Decayed" and, I'll be damned, it doesn't come to annoy you when you want to listen to the CD on a computer. I wish all CDs with a video track would behave that way when played in a computer. Ladies and gentlemen, I have a dream!

Overall this is a solid album from a band that sounds like it is in it simply to have a good time, not to take themselves too seriously - and the end result is that you also end up having a good time. After all, not everything is about technical prowess (otherwise we'd be stuck with a bunch of Dream Theater wannabes - but I digress...) This rocks enough to be considered a road hazard - I'm pretty sure it's easy to greatly exceed the speed limit when blasting this in a car. Recommended (the album, not the driving! :))

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