Impellitteri: The Complete Beast – 1987 – 2009 6CD Box Set Review

Impellitteri: The Complete Beast – A Journey Through Melodic Heavy Metal Mastery
In the realm of guitar virtuosos, Chris Impellitteri stands tall, often mentioned alongside legends like Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, and Steve Vai. His band, Impellitteri, has carved a niche in the melodic heavy metal genre, delivering riffs and solos that resonate with fans worldwide. Now, for the first time outside Japan, the entirety of Impellitteri’s work from their 1987 debut to 2009’s ‘Wicked Maiden’ is collected in a monumental 6CD box set, “The Complete Beast,” released by Global Rock Records, part of Cherry Red.

This comprehensive collection is not just for die-hard Impellitteri fans but serves as a gateway for anyone with a penchant for melodic heavy metal. Featuring vocal powerhouses Graham Bonnet and Rob Rock, the set spans a career filled with high-octane riffs, soaring vocals, and the kind of guitar wizardry that leaves listeners in awe.

Each CD in the box set represents two albums the original artwork for each album is featured on the front and back. The accompanying booklet, though lacking in-depth interviews or essays, offers photos and album credits.

The music itself is full on riffs and soaring vocals, I personally missed Impellitteri’s rise during the crowded late ’80s metal scene. From the opening riffs of “Stand in Line” to the intricate compositions of “Wicked Maiden,” it’s clear that Impellitteri was not just another band lost in the glam metal shuffle. Their music possesses a unique blend of technical proficiency and melodic sensibility, with Chris Impellitteri’s guitar work deserving every accolade it receives.

The set’s highlight is undoubtedly the inclusion of previously hard-to-find albums and EPs, making “The Complete Beast” an essential collection for both new listeners and long-time fans.

While the box set might benefit from a more detailed booklet, perhaps with insights into the band’s history and Chris Impellitteri’s guitar techniques, it’s a minor quibble in an otherwise stellar package. The sheer volume of music, over six hours across six CDs, offers a comprehensive look at a band that has managed to stay relevant in the ever-evolving heavy metal landscape.

“The Complete Beast” is a testament to Impellitteri’s enduring legacy in the world of heavy metal. It’s a journey through the band’s evolution, showcasing their ability to blend shredding guitar solos with memorable melodies. For those who’ve followed the band since their debut, this box set is a great way to have all the albums in one place, for newcomers, it’s an invitation to discover one of the genre’s most underrated acts.

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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