Impaled Nazarene - Vigorous and Liberating Death

Posted on Monday, June 09, 2014

In the most shocking turn of events this decade has seen to date, Finnish goat-worshippers Impaled Nazarene have completely changed their style on album #12. It’s true, folks. Their first record in four years finds them swapping their trademark Blackened Punk Metal for a contemporary fusion of Occult Rock, Shoegaze, Prog, and full-on Djent, with just a sprinkle of Appalachian Southpaw Jazz. Longtime followers of the band’s 24-year career will undoubtedly be taken aback by the inclusion of a 36-piece orchestra and the new positive outlook found on numbers like “Peace & Love or We (Won’t) Riot,” “Paying Bills = Awesome,” “Seatbelts Save Lives,” and “Sex Can Wait (I’m Worth It),” not to mention the group’s puzzling albeit heartfelt re-imagining of Phil Collins’ “Why Can’t It Wait ‘til Morning.” Equally questionable is frontman Mika Luttinen’s decision to forgo the microphrone altogether in favor of Finland’s oldest-known percussive instrument, the fukkiinukkiisukkiidukkii, which is entirely handcarved out of the bones of dead faggots.
HA! Just kidding. Had you going for a second, didn’t I? Come on, people. This is Impaled fucking Nazarene. Steelvagina is still their god and Sir Mikaakim Sluti666 Penetrator is still the killer of trolls. (He shoots those fuckers, no remorse.) It’s fast, it’s loud, it’s intense, it’s profane, and it’s a critic’s worst nightmare. What can I possibly say about an Impaled Nazarene album that hasn’t been said before? If you’re familiar with the band, you already know what you’re getting. Not a ton of guesswork involved with songs called “Flaming Sword of Satan” and “Pathological Hunger for Violence.” And if you aren’t familiar with them (aka: you don’t rock hard), either kill yourself or get the fuck started. Take your pick of any album. They’re all pretty much as interchangeable as the 13 tracks on offer here. If it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. While it’s uncertain if Vigorous and Liberating Death will have the same staying power 20 years from now that classics like Ugra - Karma, Suomi Finland Perkele, and Latex Cult still have today, it’s a worthwhile addition to their boisterous canon and well up to par with their last handful of LPs. It’s nice to see a legendary act not fixing what isn’t broken instead of kindly bending over to free us from what it says on the tin. Hail Planet Nazarene or feel the wrath of the Goat. Let’s fucking die.

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