Well, this was my first every purchase of anything from Impelletteri. I'd heard lots of good things and they came highly recommended by my good friend Norm @ Thunderline Magazine. This is a double CD release with Impellitteri's newest album "Crunch" and their very popular, but very rare 1996 release "Screaming Symphony". To my knowledge, all of the songs are included on this release except for an instrumental from Crunch that I think is called "Texas Nuclear Boogie", or something like that. Upon first listen, you can't help but notice the amazing guitar work of Chris Impellitteri. This guy will have your head spinning with his furious guitar solos. Another very noticable feature of this band is the awesome vocal work by Rob Rock. He's got one of the most power voices in metal today and thankfully he is doing solo stuff now so we will still be able to be graced with his talents. Disc #1 "Screaming Symphony" jumped out at me immediately and latched on to my ears with all the very catchy choruses. Some say that this is Impelliterri's finest release, and of the two here, it may be. It's heavy metal from start to finish. No ballads. The lyrics are very upfront about Christ. Unfortunately, no lyric sheet was included for "...Symphony", but Rob's vocals are very understandable so no big loss there. Top songs would be "Walk Away", "Rat Race", and "Father Forgive Them".
Next up is "Crunch". This one didn't immediately grab me like SS did. In fact, I disliked most of it except for a few songs. However, on repeated listens, I'm starting to be won over by it's much heavier "crunch". This disc could almost be titled "The Freak Show", which is also one of the song names. As with a good 4 or 5 songs on this disc, you hear many sinister laughs and spooky noises like you'd hear in a haunted house (but not as scary). In my opinion, these spooky noises can also become a bit of a distraction along with the "scratching" you'll hear on "Wasted Earth" which sounds like something off of a rap album. Not something I prefer hearing in a metal song. Thankfully, it's just that one song. One big change on "Crunch" is the lyrics. They are far less bold compared to "Screaming Symphony". With the worst being the song "Speed Demon" which I'd just a soon skip on most listens. Top songs include "Beware of the Devil" (which is really, really good!), "Slay the Dragon", and "Spanish Fire". Overall, I'd say I like the "sound" of "Crunch" better, but I'd have to say that "Screaming Symphony" is a better all around CD. Regardless, this is one talented band that will be sure to impress in most instances. (Review by Matt)