Impaled Nazarene

Death Comes in 26 Carefully Selected Pieces: Live

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What sets Finland's Impaled Nazarene apart from most of the other speed-addled, Satan-worshiping, manic-thrashing, extreme metal bands out there is that they seem to be just unhinged, scary-looking, wild-eyed, and darkly comical enough to make you think they actually mean it. In other words, whereas countrymen (and occasional associates) Children of Bodom are merely named after a horrific murder case, these guys seem more like the actual serial killers! So thank your lucky stars that Impaled Nazarene sold their souls to rock & roll instead, and then stand back in awe, jaw dropped in hand, as their first official live album, 2005's adorably named Death Comes in 26 Carefully Selected Pieces, attempts to tear listeners limb from limb. The Fins' studio albums are usually amazingly intense affairs in themselves, but the act of recording some of their best and most vicious songs in front of a heavily partisan hometown crowd at Helsinki's Tavastia club somehow renders their brutalizing onslaught all the more decapitating. No joke -- there's hardly ever a moment to collect one's thoughts once the group's symphonic intro tape finally wraps up and the uninterrupted barrage of light-speed-thrash-black-death-punk-crush-kill-destroy-die! anthems is unleashed. Words like overpowering, devastating, and apocalyptic race frantically through one's mind, and the song titles -- "Armageddon Death Squad," "Goat Perversion," "Soul Rape," "Let's Fucking Die," "We're Satan's Generation," etc. -- should give a clue as to why. Consider also the perverse sense of humor behind such classics as "The Horny and the Horned," "Motorpenis," "Under a Golden Shower," and "The Lost Art of Goat Sacrificing," and the sketch of this band's worrisome mental profile becomes complete: be afraid…be very afraid. Suffice to say that this album's blaze of velocity would leave the members of Slayer mightily impressed, and may therefore also qualify it as the ultimate introduction to one of Finland's first -- and still most formidable -- heavy metal bands.

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