Admittedly, I haven’t been an obsessive listener of Impaled Nazarene since their formation back in 1990 in the shadowy flanks of Finland’s goat brothels. However, the 2000s have had me come around to the realms of fan-dom and once they started making regular rotation at the ol' homestead, I noticed something on each of their last few albums. Now, before I ramble on, please remember that whole business about music being open to subjective interpretation and your personal experience with any one song/album/band is bound to differ from mine and yadda-yadda-yadda. Anyhoo, the last few ImpNaz albums appear to have a single song on each that differs wildly from the others, making said track a very obvious stand-out, to these ears at the very least. 2007’s Manifest has “You Don’t Rock Hard” which contrasts the searing black metal of the main program with its approximation of cock rock being played a hundred miles an hour.
Previous album, 2010’s Road to the Octagon has "Gag Reflex" which features the head-on collision of Italian hardcore, vocals right off Destruction’s Infernal Overkill and an awesomely spindly and shredding lead harmony.
Their latest full-length, Vigorous and Liberating Death showcases “Martial Law,” a track with a drastically different tone from the rest of the record with full-on bass domination, a more obviously punkier feel paving the way for a ripping bass solo to boot. So, when I had the chance to chat with founding member, frontman and all around inadvertently hilarious goat fucker, Mika “Sluti666” Luttinen, I decided it was time to spill my observations out on to the table for insider analysis and (hopefully not too much) mocking and ridicule.
“[Laughs] I think you’re listening too hard, man! I think the whole thing is that all of us write songs, so you actually have four song writers in the band. I do all the lyrics, but I also write music and we all have very different backgrounds and like different things. Most of my songs are very punk and easy; you can tell which songs are written by me. It’s funny because all of the songs you mentioned, all of them were written by different band members, so I guess it’s never that one person is writing one type of thing. After Manifest it became very critical; what we were going to put on the record itself. I think the problem with that album was that it was a mish-mash of really different kinds of things and some of them didn’t really fit our style. So after Manifest, the four of us agreed we were going to keep it very fast, heavy and brutal, cut out all the bullshit parts of the songs and make the songs shorter because I think the short, fast songs fit Impaled Nazarene the best. With “Martial Law," that was a song done by our bass player [Mika "Arc v 666" Arnkil] and he knows that I love bass solos. I fucking love them and I think it’s fucking great to have bass solos on the albums. He wrote the song and was like, “Either we can put lyrics on this ‘C’ part or I’ll do a solo.” It was pretty clear that he needed to do a solo and I think it’s fucking great! That started back with the Latex Cult album because “Motorpenis” had a bass solo on it instead of a guitar solo. We don’t have bass solos on every album, but lots of our albums have tracks with bass solos.”
Vigorous and Liberating Death is available now courtesy of Osmose Productions.
*'fire and ice' photo by Jarkko Viitasaari*