Impaled Nazarene – All That You Fear

This is one of latter-era Impaled Nazarene’s better works.  Impaled Nazarene went through something of a transformation around halfway through their career (so far, anyway) from black/thrash/grind to melodic yet still brutal black metal.  Impaled Nazarene never really shook off the black/thrash/grind entirely, and it still pops up from time to time on newer releases.  That’s all well and good, but Impaled Nazarene’s ability to pull those sections off has diminished at the same time their ability to compose engaging and epic melodies has increased.

For that reason, ‘All That You Fear’ is a very good album because it’s dominated by melody and what more primitive parts occur seem to be pulled off better than usual.  Granted, it’s can only be so different; it’s an Impaled Nazarene album after all, and the changes from album to album are rarely sweeping in nature.  The array of thrashy and melodic black metal riffs are still present with sawing guitar tone, drums are intense and well played, and vocals are a demented, throat-shredding scream that tears through the music like a chainsaw through a pig.  The songs are conventionally verse-chorus in nature, and it fits the punky nature of the music in general.  If you’ve heard Impaled Nazarene, you know what this sounds like, plus more melodic riffing.

‘Armageddon Death Squad’ might be the best track on the album due to having the catchiest chorus in the band’s history.  Then again, ‘Curse Of The Dead Medusa’ is similarly excellent, with an array of fantastic riffs and rhythms.  But then there’s the fantastic title track… really, there’s no weak points to be found on this album.  Even the most mediocre tracks are still firmly within the realm of quality music, and at its best, the music is some of the best modern black metal out there.  I can listen to it repeatedly without a hint of boredom.

It’s doubtful that anything on this album will change the minds of non-black metal fans, but for those who enjoy the genre and the band, it’s a no-brainer to pick this one up.  I listen to it a lot.

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~ by noktorn on September 28, 2008.

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