The Last Gasp

After the rather disappointing follow up to the excellent Mondo Medicale, Impaled, maybe driven by The County Medical Examiners stealing their Carcass worshipping thunder earlier this year with Olidous Operettas, have returned with a sickening yet masterfully melodic vengeance on their Willowtip debut.

Despite a slightly underwhelming production, the 11 tracks that comprise Impaled’s newest medical slab of death metal are in fact far more melodic death metal, than gore-grind, despite the lyrical content (and cover). Much the same way Carcass were essentially a melodic death metal band on Necrotism, Impaled have taken that same formula; slicing catchy, clean riffs, lots of solos, and a sense of surprising memorability, essentially making this the album that Carcass might have released between Necrotism and Heartwork, leaving The County Medical Examiners in the far muddier, primal era of Carcass homage.

The song writing has been upped back (and maybe beyond in level of melody) to the level of Mondo Medicale, that’s to say, the riffs, structures and pacing are almost ‘fun’, despite the themes and dual death metal vocals. Starting with the stunningly catchy chorus of “G.O.R.E”, sneaky harmonics of “The Visible Man”, “All Gut No Glory”, (with just a sickening ending gurgle), personal favorite “Up the Dose” (this album’s “Raise the Stakes”), solo filled “Dawn of the Dread” and epic closing title track, The Last Gasp is just a top notch melodic death metal album with a sick, visceral gloss. Each track imbues Carcass at their most intellectual and melodic yet cleverly gore soaked and skilfully remaining in death metal realms.

It’s amazing that a band like Impaled can basically deliver the years best melodic death metal album, and while some will simply Impaled are merely rehashing Carcass riff, its certainly less obvious that The County Medical Examiners, and inject their own smirking sense of character and flare to the songs , lyrically and musically. Plus its just great to hear a death metal album that isn’t either brutal death core based or blast beat reliant and overly clicky and robotic. Great stuff.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 9th, 2007


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