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Impaler (1983-1992, 1994-present): a Speed Metal band from Saint Paul, Minnisota, USA.


ormed in 1983 and boasting a horror themed speed metal, and sometimes punk sound much of Minnesota, USA based Impaler's popularity was due to being in the right place at the right time.

Their debut EP Rise of the Mutants (1985) and If We Had Brains ... We'd Be Dangerous (1985) respectively both featuring the line-up of Bill Lindsey (vocals),Mike Torok (guitar), Court Hawley (bass) and Bob Johnson (drums) would offer their roaring introduction. These releases, however, were among those singled out by Tipper Gore and the PMRC for chastising as being offensive in the 1980s. As much as an uproar those complaints made back then, it nonetheless gave free publicity for the band. But that's pretty much where this act's claim to fame ends, for the music they produced really wasn't much to celebrate; their lyrics centering on B-Movie styled semi-horror themes with a quasi- thrash metal and basic heavy metal musical score to match it. If We Had Brains... sold reasonably well for an indie but Impaler were never able to capitalize on it.

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Johnson would be gone by the time their Wake Up Screaming was ready in 1989 and, indeed, the whole line-up was replaced except for Lindsay recruiting Nikki Nichols (guitar), Eric Allyn (bass) and Ron Barna (bass) for Undead Things (1996) now without a label.

It Won't Die (1998) saw Brad Johnson replace Nichols. One Nation Underground (2000) saw them surprisingly struggle into the millennium, now with Tom Croxton taking over drums to also release The Mutants Rise Again EP (2002) and Old School Ghouls that same year with their image intact, even if it had taken a more grandiose presentation since their early days.

Habeas Corpus (2005) was the last for 'Root of All Evil Records' and marked the return of original bassist Court Hawley. The band then signed with 'MVD Audio' for their first live recording, Alive Beyond the Grave and their first concept CD, Cryptozoology (Creatures Of God?); the second featuring the return of original guitarist Michael James Torok. Two DVDs 20 Years Undead and House Band At The Funeral Parlor, as well as two split 7" singles for 666 Dreary Lane featuring fellow Minnesota band Ripsnorter and Jersey Devil respectively followed, the second featuring two tracks by Iowa grindcore band Black Market Fetus.

In 2009 Lindsay contributed a recipe for "Bloody intestines and Worms" to Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook; the recipe name was just that - a name - for the ingredients were actually Italian sausage with onions.

The following year the compilation, Chronicles of Terror (2010), arrived. The album contained old demos of their unreleased tracks, as well as cover songs, a live show and a twenty page booklet that contained an interview with band members and rare photos of the group. The EP, 30 Years and Rising came in 2012. If Death Were A Horse (2019) and The Great Hereafter (2020) followed.

Footnote: Do not confuse this Impaler with a British death metal band by the same name.

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