Originally written by Erik Thomas
I’m ashamed to say that after 13 years and eight albums, this is my first experience with Finland’s (if not Europe’s) black metal elder statesman, well at least you won’t get a fanboy review. I remember seeing the band name many, many years ago, and thinking, “My parents are not going to like that lying around” so I avoided them all together in my metal embryonic state, and never got back to them. That will change though now I’ve heard them. Apparently, transforming from a raw Bathory –ish clone into a self stated “nuclear metal” band that culls some punk and even Motorhead influences within their black visage, Impaled Nazarene appear to be as scathing as they were 13 years ago, albeit more mature.
At the bands heart and souls is founding member Mika Luttinen, who as one of the bands few original members (incidentally Impaled Nazarene has had several members move on to be in such notable acts as Finntroll, Sentenced, Children of Bodom and The Black League) has guided the band into the new millennium with an appropriate apocalyptic visage with still yet a nod to black metal’s past. Simplistic, scalding, power chord riffs, seething vocals and a percussive battery that retains the genre’s rage, despite the slightly friendlier guitar work and professional production. To these virgin ears, Impaled Nazarene sound like Finland’s slightly catchier answer to Sweden’s Marduk or Norway’s Darkthrone, and in all reality are just as productive and influential. I doubt you’d hear the punky riffs and punchy bass lines of “Goat Seeds of Doom” rumble from Marduk’s amps though.
All That You Fear doesn’t set out to do anything than be another in a long line of consistent Impaled Nazarene albums, there are no drastic style changes from their last effort, Absence of War Does Not Mean Peace, or from the prior albums even, the axes and corpse paint are now guns and gasmasks, although goats still appear in the bands lyrics despite the industrial shift. Impaled Nazarene has moved with the times adequately enough not to become antiquated but has not evolved too much to lose fans with drastic changes. Contained within the harsh static of the guitars is some surprising melody, take the aforementioned “Goat Seeds of Doom”, or the superb epic flow of “Tribulation Hell”, and “Curse of the Dead Medusa”. There’s still venom a-plenty with short stabs of adrenalin contained in “Halo of Flies” and “Recreate Thru Hate”. Frankly, all the above came as a relief after hearing the Motorhead comparison thrown about (a comparison I’m not sure I fully comprehend with my limited experience of both bands), as All That You Fear with maybe two or three exceptions (“Suffer in Silence”, “All That You Fear”) is a vitriolic black metal album for the new millennium and a fine addition to an already storied legacy.