After 2 demo tapes under the name of Carnage, this band changed name to Impaler (thanskfully this is not the super shit American band of this name, how horrendous), got signed to Deaf and moved eastward to the thermal water city of Leamington Spa in the middle of England to record their only album “Charnel Deity”. I had this album for a long time but it was just recently that I bought the Cd version in a second-hand bin in the local record shop. Impaler has long been one of the very few bands coming out of the the English ground apart from great classic names and a bunch of obscure bands like Beyond Fear, Necrosanct, Lord of Putrefaction or Decomposed.
In any case there were really few bands out of UK but the few ones were really relevant, as Dan Tobin at Earache once instructed me, and I took note. Impaler do not hit you with anything strikingly original but they have always had a morbid touch with intrigued me, both in music and lyrics, (not to mention their shirt is one of my top picks), starting from the very cover artwork, a shoot of a splendid skullpture made by the guitarist Chris Drew (which also painted the cover for Accidental Sucide‘s album, also a very common sight on 2nd hand Cd shops), “Charnel Deity” delivers obscure Death Metal with brutal and malignant vocals fairly riminiscent of early Immolation. Musically it’s Death Metal from start to end, with powerful riffs and very wide guitar textures, coherent solos, and a real brilliant drumming. I think I always liked this band far better than Benediction, when we discuss about classic Death Metal, but I guess Deaf (a sub-label of Peaceville) never got the relevance of Earache (or even Peaceville, for the matter) worldwide, so probably marketing hit a neat stroke across this band’s career, who knows. Impaler stays very far from the fast thrash metal riff, staying more on mid tempos most of the time, being also very essential to the Death Metal style of early 1990, not wiking too evidently at neither of the then enstabilished schools of Florida or Sweden, save maybe the slower aspects of Massacre or Autopsy. It is pure Death Metal for the lovers of this genre in its untainted form, some of the riffs might sound a bit sloppy but there is plenty of Death Metal darkness here, for those who think only Black Metal is about obscurity. The production is to me just perfect, also. I think this is a great pick expecially considering it’s easily found for cheap.