Originally published in ‘zine issue #26, 2002
Impaled is a death metal band with a new album called Mondo Medicale which features solid production, impressive art direction on the sleeve, and infectious songs, both lyrically and musically. They are a talented group of musicians, and as with many bands of any genre, have their own set of priorities, for example, whether or not they choose to be concerned with being unique or having their own sound.
Via email, Ross comments, “Impaled has its own unique sound, at least after we all eat a plate of refried beans. As far as music is concerned, comparisons are fine. Fans of Carcass––or, at least, fans of their first three albums––will have the knowledge they need to go and spend their hard earned cash on us and fill our coffers.”
Impaled has however been accused of being what is referred to as Carcass clones. “Well, President Clinton called for a ban on human cloning in 1997, the same year that Impaled formed,” Ross responds. “See, we’re such rebels right since the beginning, even sticking our noses up at a presidential edict! Take that, Clinton, you philandering rake! On a tangent, the main proponent of human cloning is named Dr. Dick Seed. True story. How cool is that?”
Impaled seems to have somewhat of a goregrind influence in the vocals, if not in other departments. On the surface goregrind as a genre doesn’t really have a sense of humor (Exhumed excepted), but evidently Impaled doesn’t take itself all that seriously, which is refreshing. It’s potentially difficult to balance the gore and horror of the lyrics, the extremity of the music, and the shall we say tongue-in-cheek side of the band, but not for Impaled it seems. “No, it’s not hard,” Ross explains. “Horror and gore and death are funny. It seems like a natural combination to me. And as far as serious bands, if they are anything like us, they sit around, drink beer, watch dumb movies, complain that girls won’t talk to them, forget to bathe, lose jobs. I mean, what’s particularly scary about that? To know us is to laugh at us, but not with us.”
On the new album the strength of the lyrics has improved since the last full length, for example with the addition of almost narrative directions in some of the songs. Ross explains, “The inclination towards a cohesive narrative within the songs was definitely there during the writing process, because I looked at it like this: through porn. See, plenty of Gonzo porn comes out every day.”
There’s been press reports on Impaled’s records being banned because of the cover art. With any group a situation like this may generate pressure to keep the shocking covers coming, or pressure to “downtone” the sleeves to make distribution easier. “We actually thought our covers have toned down since the beginning, but seem to get more press as we go on,” Ross reveals. “I mean, our first demo had a guy––or girl, I could never tell––covered in shit and puking. Our first album [The Dead Shall Dead Remain] had huge amounts of guts seemingly coming our of somebody’s ass into a toilet. For some reason, the Choice Cuts cover, which we thought was fake looking but amusing nonetheless, drew the most ire, with people denouncing our label and us, because we killed a toy doll, which, I might add, is the same doll Papa Roach used for their stupid cover, as well. JSR, a major tee shirt company, wouldn’t print shirts of it, and the manufacturer refused to assemble the CD. Now, we have Mondo Medicale, our tamest cover yet, and SPV in Europe wouldn’t distribute it, even with a censored cover over it. Century Media has had to print the booklet without the actual cover at all. Now, because of contractual obligations, our next album cover will be a photo of a young kitty-kat hanging from a tree branch, and it will be called Hang In There, Baby.” ■
Photo: Impaled (courtesy Necropolis)