D. Wiedecker | SD, CA USA | 04/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This my first complete listen of Chris Impelliteri. I have heard bits and pieces of his neoclassical playing in previous releases, and I could say then that he sounded like every other neoclassical shredder. I can understand fans of his prior works of "the shred" will not like this. I do. Though I can't take an album's worth of shredding (how much monotony can one take?), I appreciate it in small doses, where it applies to the musical art form within the structure of a song. This album has a perfect smattering of the different abilities of this guitar great.
To classify "Pedal..." as any one form of metal would be a severe disservice to the release. The vocals are outstanding, I am not sure what the naysayers are talking about. The range is excellent, and the delivery gritty. The lyrical subject matter patterns Chris' typical good v. evil take, and the writing is stellar. The accompanying music has some speedy thrash elements in parts, some classic heavy rock hooks throughout, the rhythm section is steadily heavy and rock solid, and of course there is the phenominal, oppropriate soloing by Chris.
I have to say something about Chris' guitar tone and sustain. It is exquisite on this release. I dislike it when shredders cut back on sustain and distortion to make them sound faster and cleaner. Chris throws caution to the wind, and opts for the metal guitar artist overdrive and sustain, and it works to perfection. Some of the solos are jaw dropping, as he mixes tone, mode and key. What an amazing talent. I hope this is the shape of things to come for the band.
In closing, the song "Punk" is a hilariously perfect take on the evanescent "rap metal" industry. Impelliteri is not "trying" to do rap metal........you guys missed the point. They are making a parody on how much of an "artless" form of music it was. Listen closely. The song, music, and lyrical content hit the nail on the head, as well as being a kick ass metal song! This album is a pure treat for the thrash based metalhead!"
Like no other musician - by a new Impelliteri fan
D. Guilbert | Winnemucca NV USA | 03/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Chris is like noone else you've ever listened to. He is serious about having fun with his music. One reviewer who I read regularly said that this album seems to be about entertaining himself and his fans, and has no interest in gaining new ones. He also said that this is a CD that you will either get or not, and that there isn't going to be a lot of middle ground. Growth? This is my first Impelliteri CD (give me a couple weeks though), so I don't know about that. Please note that In Flames and Opeth are the only two acts that I've ever watched grow successfully, and contrasting their "growth" to that of Metallica leaves me unsure what precisely the word means.
Listening to this album it feels like Chris took what he's been hearing on the radio and made a song like it, only better. Some of it is tribute, some of it is satire, and some of it comes close to being a ripoff of other works. This is almost like a "Best of metal" with Impelliteri's own indelible stamp on it. You'll hear old school influences like Priest, Pantera, and there was a moment when I'd have sworn I heard echos of Europe (The Final Countdown) in there somewhere. You'll hear things that make you think of Blind Guardian, and Hammerfall. Punk will call to mind the work of Fred Durst, but this is clearly a sendup as well as a statement that "rap metal doesn't have to suck".
As to vocals, Curtis is no Graham, but then who is? Yet Curtis serves the music well, and there are songs here that Graham might have seemed out of place on - Punk springs instantly to mind in that regard. As to drumming and bass, all I can say so far is that I've found no seams on this disc.
When you listen to this album, remember one thing: music can be fun, even while being the other things that you want it to be. This is metal, no question, and there is no shortage of rage on this CD, if you choose to tap into it. Yet Chris doesn't force you to do so. It is there if you want it. This album is all over the map. As a listener, I find myself gasping for breath as I try to keep up with the changes, the genre-hopping, and the sheer excitement of it all.
Impelliteri is a versatile song-writer on top of being a stunning guitar player, and nowhere is that more obvious than on Pedal to the Metal."