I’ve always been a fan of Impaled as I grew older in the Metal universe. In fact, they had a good deal of impact as to why I still run sites like this. Back around 2002, I ran my first website for Metal reviews, and Deathvomit Records was one of the first to send over some promos for review, and I greatly thank them for that. It’s honestly a shame they had to shut their doors, as there was a good deal of talented Death Metal bands to be found there. But, from that point on, I actually got in touch with Sean and Ross through AOL Instant Messenger, and enjoyed talking to them whenever we had a chance to communicate. This eventually led to me conducting my first e-mail interview with them both.
I actually hadn’t heard their debut until the late 2000’s, and actually only recently acquired an original CD pressing from a local used music store for four dollars US, the owner not being too familiar with Metal albums and not quite knowing what he had sitting there below a few Incantation albums. It’s a great album and one I love throwing on now and then. I do still prefer Mondo Medicale though, but that’s an entirely different issue. So, when I found out about this, I thought back to the recent Amorphis and Exodus re-recorded albums, and immediately started worrying.
When it comes to re-recording an album, a lot of factors need to be considered. Is the album old enough to be re-recorded, and what determines the age limit for this? Is it really something that needs to happen? If so, how will the fans take to it? How many members of the band at the time of the initial recording are still involved? Have any of those members died? Will a digital recording kill any analog atmosphere if it was recorded at or before the turn of this century? And then there’s the question of whether this is being forced on your die-hard fan-base who own all your albums already as a full priced release, instead of a cheap add-on.
Recently, Annihilator went ahead and re-recorded fifteen of their songs as a bonus disc for their new album, Feast. Sure Dave Padden’s vocals sucked and were auto-tuned to hell at times, but it was a way to celebrate twenty-years of Metal without really pissing off the fan base. This gave the devoted listeners an option, where as the Bonded by Blood re-recording was just taking a great album and momento of Paul Baloff for the sake of making it sound new and modern. This wound up more a travesty than a good way to celebrate an anniversary.
So, is The Dead Still Dead Remain, which is the new title for this interpretation of the band’s debut, poised to piss off a slew of fans? Well, there are a few things working in the bands favor at least. It’s only been about thirteen years since it dropped, so how different can it possibly end up being other than to sound new and modern? On top of that, the original line-up is performing the material. This is commendable, and will spark the interest of many devoted fans, but if that’s the case, why not just record a new album already. It has been about six years since The Last Gasp after all…
Am I curious to hear the final product, yes, but I’m definitely dreading it for more reasons than you might expect. While Metal is a very broad and unique style, it is still prone to falling prey to trends. Often, the true fan’s opinion doesn’t matter, especially when it comes to record labels or bands trying to make a quick buck. Look at some of the insane pushes that occur of bands that take part in the latest fad, and the labels trying to cash in by signing every carbon copy clone of the “in-thing” to flood the market with. Re-recording songs was the norm for compilations and bonus tracks for special editions. But, in the past year, we’ve seen a few re-recorded albums hit store shelves, and it seems the more they sell, the more we see, leading to what may some day become a new Metal epidemic that will split the community right in half.
The fact that I haven’t really heard much praising this specific re-recording restores a little faith in my outlook to this concept. I’m not looking too forward to getting this promo, but I’ll be sure to get a review of it posted when it happens my way. Sure, this sort of releases have their audience, but in many ways, a simple reissue with a possible remastering would even appease them this time around. Why replace a hard to find, yet incredibly recent album with a fresh recording when you can just as easily release it on vinyl, or a digipack CD with something like a documentary for the fans who missed out and want to know more about Impaled, their involvement with Ghoul? Look at the success of the recent Carcass The Pathologist Report reissues Earache Records did. It’s a superb nod to the quality of those releases, and would respect Impaled‘s debut, and their time as a band since then perfectly.
But, with all that being said, it all boils down to one simple question: Are you interested in this re-recording, or do you simply not care at this point, finding this type of release already getting older than the original pressings they are based off?