Impellitteri - _Pedal to the Metal_
(SPV / Steamhammer, 2005)
by: Aaron McKay (
There was a time I thought true neo-classical styled shredding was a thing of the past, until this slab in the form of _Pedal to the Metal_ found its way to my mailbox. Guitar prodigy Chris Impellitteri surfaces again with ten tracks of high intensity fret board execution with a not-so-surprising new-age edge that is outrageously captivating. Having a long history, and an infusion of members joining its ranks as to make Cradle of Filth jealous, it makes complete sense this west coast outfit delivers what fans demand. Wide in scope, _Pedal to the Metal_ offers a full menu of Italian-esque speed to rap infused "I Am the Man" nu-metal (only one track, "Punk"), to a Bandlands meets Steve Vai cuts peppered throughout. Like the weather in the mid-west, if you don't like something, wait a minute and it'll change. New vocalist Curtis Skelton demonstrates a clean American style ability to vocally keep up with the wildfire antics of this retro '80s shredding found here that Yngwie Malmsteen had a hand in making popularly ostentatious. Chris and Impellitteri have displayed a sense of humor exhibited on _PttM_, but they are quick to support that with skilled, almost effortless, playing and proficiency. While track six, "Destruction", finds itself spinning more than the other nine, this whole album is a study in complexity and one I am glad I've finally discovered. More than well worth an open-minded listen from even the most rigid death metal traditionalists among us.
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