We need bands like IMPALED so badly in the death metal scene, it hurts. It hurts, in fact, possibly as much as one of the ludicrous intestine-removing scenarios the Californians dream up in their lyrics — tittering behind their hands as they do so, no doubt.
And therein lies the rub. Where this band are evidently reluctant to take themselves too seriously in their subject matter, all efforts are concentrated on making the music do the talking in a big way — with the clinical precision of a freshly sharpened surgical scalpel.
If you're just sick, tired and terminally unmoved by the crop of benign death metal acts surfacing in the last few years (their thin, edgeless musical delivery and gurgling drain vocalists), then IMPALED will seem like a blast of fresh — or should that be fetid? — air. Granted, by sonic definition they are the bastard sons of England's long defunct CARCASS (twin trade-off growling present and correct), but where they can't be credited for absolute originality, they can certainly be hailed for building on that girder-thick sound with their own collection of bitter-and-twisted melodies, which permeate Mondo Medicale throughout.
When we say "melodies" though, we're not talking about a band moving into the realms of polished niceties — we're talking about a band that use them like auxiliary weapons, and never at the expense of coming straight out of the gates into ugly, merciless brutality. You name it, this album has got it: the hyper-speed flail of "Dead Inside" and "Rest in Faeces", the mid-paced march of "Choke On It" (not a DEATH cover, incidentally), even the subtlest of black metal flavors on "The Worms Crawl In", which doesn't thankfully throw a spanner in the works.
Rather importantly, IMPALED's tunes burrow into your memory — ensuring that they vomit over most of the current competition from a great height.