Monday, February 1, 2010


2009 saw the return of Rob Rock to the Impellitteri fold and with that the highly anticipated Wicked Maiden was released. I’ve enjoyed the collaboration of Rock with guitar wiz Chris Impellitteri since they first released that now famed four song EP on Relativity back in the late 80’s. Wicked Maiden is full of the things that both men are known for; Powerful strong vocals and finger stretching guitar solos.

The first Impellitteri album I bought was Answer to the Master. Since that time I’ve tried to acquire every album they’ve put out, but my favorite is still Screaming Symphony. Great songs and powerful performances made that disc a keeper for me. Yet sometimes it seems that Chris in his songwriting tries not to be predictable in the execution of it. I must say however that those surprises don’t always result in the most memorable compositions.

That being said most of the tunes here are blistering examples of melodic metal. The technical underpinnings of these tunes are frankly mind numbing. As I listen to Chris play the riffs under Robs voice its crazy, following the riff of Garden of Eden Impellitteri doesn’t let his fingers take a break! I’m not talking about the solos I’m talking about the riffs to the song. Garden of Eden shines high with flawless execution. A superb hook with a tremendous verse, I play this song consistently. I would even say this could be one of the best songs these guys have ever written.

Eyes of an Angel, Wicked Maiden, Hi-Scool Revolution, Last of a Dying Breed, all scream with what you would expect from Impellitteri. Very memorable songs that are melodic and full of lightening fast solos full of arpeggios, chromatic scales, harmonic dive bombs and assorted carnage. Those songs are all very reminiscent of previous songs like Rat Race, When the Well Runs Dry, Hungry Days and many other Impellitteri classics.

In the surprise department the tune Holy Man has elements of ‘rap’ on it. That may scare some away, but don’t let it as this song is pretty darn heavy. It’s one of those songs that appear on previous Impellitteri albums that are just a little bit different from everything else.

Top drawer production brings out the best elements in these songs and is consistent throughout. The rhythm section consists of Glen Sobel on drums and James Amelio Pulli on the bass guitar. These guys shine throughout in their own right. Superb musicians who add just a little bit of control under the chaos that Chris shreds on top.

Wicked Maiden doesn’t necessarily break any new ground musically but is that what we buy these albums for? Heck no! I want killer songs with shredding solos and kick butt hooks. Wicked Maiden provides that in spades.

8 axes

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