Impellitteri - System X

Year of Release: 2002
Label: SPV
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:50:00

Oh, man. Such great music. Such bad lyrics. I am torn between the two.

In the end, my liking for the music has won out, but I think Chris Impellitteri, guitar shredder extraordinaire, might have been off practicing licks somewhere when [insert deity of choice] was handing out subtlety. I shall talk about the music first, seeing as that's definitely the good part.

In System X, Chris Impellitteri has produced a hard-hitting solo album which oozes macho testosterone through its whole 40 minutes. It possesses not a quiet moment and is a rough, tough, hard rockin' experience from start to finish. Serving up generous amounts of shredding, mostly supplied by Mr Impellitteri on guitar, this album is a musical treat. In the vocalist spot we have the most distinguished-looking Graham Bonnet (who is also on Impellitteri's Stand In Line, and was formerly of Rainbow, Alcatrazz, and MSG - to name but a few) whose gentlemanly appearance belies the belting power and energy behind his voice. James Pulli supplies bass, Ed Roth the keyboards, and Glen Sobel "kicks the band right in the ass" (to paraphrase lyrics from the first track, "Rock & Roll Heroes') on drums.

The musicianship, the energy, the power - all tracks are fantastic in that regard. But as for the lyrics. Oh dear. I suppose it's kind of appropriate to not pull any poetic punches, due to the in-your-face nature of the music, but ... well. I'll have to quote some of them in order to demonstrate:

(from "End Of The World") The president crying "What have we done"; Hold your fire! No need for that gun; The eye's of a nation screem in pain; A burning sensation it's nuclear rain; People dying what do we do; Call the savior, the red white and blue...

(from "Why Do They Do That") In my new neighbourhood; Thought that I'd add more color; They'd take me in and I'd be the adopted child; But I think some shit would hit me with a ball bat; If by chance I wasn't looking (this bit doesn't even fit the music)...

(and possibly the greatest "What Did He Just Say?" moment I've ever experienced, from "Falling In Love With A Stranger") No complications; No kind of stress; This girl is physical; When I'm in her bed; No masturbation; No fantasy; She's hot and dirty and aiming at me...

There's more, but you get the idea. By and large the subjects addressed are highly emotive. They range from racism ("Perfect Crime") to prostitution ("She's A Nighttime Lover") to September 11 ("United We Stand") to Drugs Are Bad, Mmkay ("What Kind Of Sanity"). As I said, the wording's pretty simple, sometimes infantile, but if you don't think you'll find that distracting, then go for it - musically this album rocks hard enough to save it from the lyrics. A real boystown album, which is lots of fun if not particularly scholarly, it's crept into my affections. Recommended!

Similar to: The Scorpions, WASP, Accept

[This review originally appeared July 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
United We Stand (3:04) / Perfect Crime (4:23) / End Of The World (5:05) / She's A Nightime Lover (4:30) / Slow Kill (4:57) / Why Do They Do That (3:53) / Rock And Roll Heroes (4:38) / Gotta Get Home (3:20) / What Kind Of Sanity (3:26) / Falling In Love With A Stranger (3:34)

Graham Bonnet - vocals
Chris Impellitteri - all guitars
James Amelio Pulli - bass
Edward Harris Roth - keyboards
Glen Sobel - drums

Impellitteri (ep) (1987)
Stand In Line (1988)
Grin And Bear It (1992)
Victim Of The System (ep) (1993)
Answer To The Master (1994)
Screaming Symphony (1996)
Fuel For The Fire (ep) (1997)
Eye Of The Hurricane (1998)
Crunch (2000)
System X (2002)
The Very Best Of Impellitteri (2002)
Faster Than The Speed Of Light (2003)
Pedal To The Metal (2004)

Genre: Melodic Metal

Origin US

Added: December 18th 2004
Reviewer: Karyn Hamilton
Hits: 862
Language: english


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