When it comes to playing the guitar, many a guitarist dream of being able to shred their axes as fast as their little fingers can go. Nitro guitarist Michael Angelo-Batio once offered to give his fans “…the keys to the Lamborghini” by showing them how to play at lightning speed. However, when it comes to guitarist Chris Impellitteri, he IS the Lamborghini. Over the years Chris has been regarded as one of the fastest guitarists on the planet by the likes of Guitarworld Magazine and after his band, Impellitteri’s previous release ‘Wicked Maiden’, does Chris and the band still hold supreme with their latest album, ‘Venom’?
The band kick things off with the album’s title track ‘Venom’ and ‘Empire Of Lies’. Already they show that they are here to burst your ear drums with this release. Each song features a thunderous combination of Chris’s lightning riffs and drummer’s Jon Dette’s (former Heathen, Anthrax & Testament) heavy drum fills, backed by the powerhouse vocals of longtime frontman Rob Rock (Driver & former M.A.R.S.).
Between Chris and the boys’ riffs that break the speed limit, the band add a wonderful balance of difference metal styles throughout this release. From revisiting that classic ’80s metal sound in the tracks ‘We Own The Night’ and ‘Rise’ to bringing forth a real balls to the wall heavy metal sound predominant throughout this reviewer’s favourite track, ‘Face The Enemy’ and the hard hitting ‘Domino Theory’ that talks about the current state of the world.
If you are a fan of Rob Rock’s solo career, you are familiar with the fact that Rock has very strong Christian beliefs, which he also shares with Impellitteri himself. Proof of their beliefs is shown throughout the track entitled ‘Jehovah’, which also features a very Killswitch Engage sound.
The order of the final two tracks, entitled ‘Time Machine’ and ‘Holding On’ is my only criticism for this album. Call me picky but while both these songs are brilliant pieces of music, this reviewer felt that ‘Time Machine’ is a more fitting close for the album as the mixture of Rock’s cry at the end and the musicians’ earth shaking finale would have brought this album to a close perfectly.
It has been six years since the release of ‘Wicked Maiden’, which was one of this reviewer’s favourite albums of all time. Did Impellitteri live up to what they offered six years ago? Yes, without a shadow of a doubt they did. While personally ‘Wicked Maiden’ was a much stronger album, ‘Venom’ shows that the band still have what it takes to rock your socks off. with Chris Impellitteri still reigning supreme as the fastest guitarist on the planet.
2. Empire Of Lies
3. We Own The Night
5. Face The Enemy
6. Domino Theory
9. Time Machine
10. Holding On
‘Venom’ is released via Frontiers Records on April 17.