Monday, June 1, 2015
Impalers - God From the Machine 
Danish thrash? In retrospect, I'm glad with the Danes Impalers putting out another record, not solely because it fills in the shortage of thrash metal premises, which, to my knowledge, have not been fulfilled by any band since the 80's except Artillery, but also because the band 2013 full-length ''Power Behind the Throne'' was already a forgotten disc in that endless mound of promos and albums which I acquire annually, without concessions. Nevertheless I'd say among the heap of neo-thrash acolytes who preach the wisdom and savagery of Kreator, Sodom or Destruction, Impalers stands out as by far one of the more potent, capable of serving instances of undiluted 80's chainsaw thrash action without adhering to some of the more stylistic conventions of the genre such as those whose trail was blazed by Watchtower, Toxik, Coroner and Artillery in the 80's and early 90's. Not that it's a problem... I'd feign to see some proper Coroner worship any time, especially since retro-thrash is in such a dire state nowadays, but granted Impalers isn't crossing that strait, we still have ourselves an enjoyable piece of 80's worship.
The sound of ''God From the Machine'' has an immediate Teutonic appeal, as if the ferocity of those early Kreator records were somehow infused with brisker production values and slightly more growled vocals instead of Millie's signature verbal barks. That is to say, the album still bears a strong resemblance to Destruction's later work, following the explosive ''The Antichrist'', but Impalers is still more melodic than that, incorporating harmonies and modern metal melodies which fluidly bridge the ravaging chugs and rhythmic chops which demonstrate the group's finesse with their cutlery. Nearly every song here is a butcher's feast, with loads of delicious chops, palm muted tremolos and immense projections of chords like the verse riff on ''Prepare for War''. Impalers isn't exactly an Angelus Apatrida or a Suicidal Angels, which both possess too much inherent melodic death/thrash tendencies to be called 'pure' thrash outfits, because the sense of melody on this album is scarce, existing mostly in the spurious, bluesy leads. Mechanically clad, ''God From the Machine'' evokes then image of some unwarranted robot intruding into some city with huge, ballistic laser guns and rockets protruding from its soldiers... a feeling more apocalyptic than your regular thrash outing, perhaps as a result of the vocalist's haughty growls and dynamic drum work: either way ''God From the Machine'' somehow aspires to become something marginally different from its ancestors like Kreator and Sodom, who with records like ''Pleasure to Kill'' or ''Obsessed With Cruelty'' salvaged an antiquated sense of evil rather than the robotic mosh-fest present here.
That said, Impalers still owes a lot to the Bay Area scene. I can relate them instantly with the Germanic scene due the evident hostility of the guitars (the vocals help too) but I'm sure that the Danes owe something to Metallica, Vio-lence, Forbidden, Slayer and Overkill something as well. But I can also see that the band is somewhat on the edge of experimentation here: ''Beyond Trinity'' is a ballad that opens up with clean vocals and deliquescent guitar arpeggios, building gradually to a brisker array of riffs, something akin to a ''Welcome Home''. Any any rate, the Danes are more modern and polished than a thrash band out the 80's, and the riffs here aren't exactly recycled, with enough fury, memorability and in-your-face gang vocals to establish a firm kick in your balls. I would have definitely enjoyed if they hadn't paraphrased so many of their riffs, especially with songs like ''The Vulturine'' or ''The Walls of Eryx'' which not only surpass the boundaries of regular thrash-time, but exercise excessive quantities of futuristic mosh that doesn't feel on par with the crunchy ear candy I received on some of the better tracks. Still, refined, tight, professional, and definitely ahead of a good number of their peers, Impalers delivers the thrash animus nicely with ''God From the Machine'', and you can bet kids in tight jeans and Slayer shirts will be recounting this as one of the best thrash to have come out in 2015.
God From the Machine
Prepare for War
Destroy the Meek