Impellitteri: Wake the Beast



ON BIG BLEND RADIO: This episode of Big Blend Radio’s “New Music Friday” Show features guitarist Chris Impellitteri and vocalist Rob Rock, cofounders of acclaimed metal band Impellitteri. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Spreaker, Podbean, or SoundCloud.


Acclaimed US heavy metal band Impellitter is proud and excited to release its new three-CD compilation album, “Wake the Beast,” worldwide on Global Rock Records, on September 30, 2022. For the first time ever, the Impellitteri catalog has been made available worldwide.  Lead guitarist Chris Impellitteri is known around the world for his high level of technical skill, as well as being an extremely melodic guitarist and a prolific, talented songwriter.

Despite being an American metal band (Chris is based in Los Angeles), the Impellitteri catalog has been hard to find for the majority of the band’s fans in the western world, with many fans having to buy expensive import copies direct from Japan, where the band enjoys a huge following.  But with Global Rock officially licensing the full catalog between the years 1987 and 2010, the catalog will be made readily available.

In celebration of this occasion, Global Rock are releasing “Wake the Beast,” a three-CD compilation set that encompasses the Impellitteri story from 1987-2010.  Every song on this compilation was chosen by Chris based on what he feels are the highlights from 12 different Impellitteri releases from over the years.

Whether it’s original (and current) vocalist Rob Rock on vocals or former Impellitteri frontman Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Alkatrazz) singing, the intensity never lets up.  This is the first ever Impellitteri career spanning compilation released worldwide, featuring not only the well-known album tracks but also rare Japan-only released bonus songs and B-sides.

Chris Impellitteri formed Impellitteri together with vocalist Rob Rock in Los Angeles.  They first released an EP  titled Impellitteri in 1987. The EP features heavy metal with classically influenced shredding guitar solos, screaming vocals, speed metal drumming and aggressive bass. It features songs like “Lost in the Rain” and “Burning” which quickly gained the attention of heavy metal fans and musicians around the world. During the release of the EP, many major media outlets began to cover Impellitteri including Kerrang!, Guitar World, Circus, and Burrn!

After the release of the EP, Impellitteri regrouped, this time with British vocalist Graham Bonnet as lead singer, and released an album titled Stand in Line in 1988. MTV played Impellitteri’s music video for “Stand in Line” in heavy rotation, and Chris Impellitteri was a guest host on MTV’s Headbangers Ball. Fans voted Impellitteri a “Smash” on MTV’s Smash or Trash show. The album charted in Billboards Top 100 and remained there for over five months. To date, the song “Stand in Line” has become a fan favorite globally.

After touring in support of the Impellitteri EP and “Stand in Line,” the band returned to the studio and reunited with original vocalist Rob Rock. They quickly recorded and released another EP titled Victim of the System (1993), which was produced by Mike Tacci, who was the assistant engineer on Metallica’s Black Album (1991). Victim of the System was highly influenced by the band Queen. Following Victim of the System, they released Answer to the Master in late 1994. To date, this album features many fan-favorite songs like “Warrior”, “Fly Away”, and the title track “Answer to the Master.”

In 1996, Impellitteri released Screaming Symphony, with Chris Impellitteri winning the Burrn! magazine Readers Poll Award for “Best Rock Guitarist.” The record was mixed by Michael Wagener, who had also produced Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne. Screaming Symphony features songs such as “Rat Race” and “17th Century Chicken Pickin”, which are played frequently during live concerts.

In 2000, Impellitteri released the album Crunch. Crunch was the first record where the band started to occasionally use drop tunings in combination with their brand of shred metal. The album featured songs like “Beware of the Devil,” “Slay the Dragon,” and “Speed Demon.” In addition, the band recorded a ballad titled “Forever Yours.”

Shortly after Crunch, Rob Rock decided to pursue a solo career. Impellitteri again recruited Graham Bonnet and began working on their next album titled System X, released in 2002. That year they also released a compilation of hits called The Very Best of Impellitteri: Faster Than the Speed of Light (2002).

In May 2008, it was announced that Rob Rock was, once again, back with Impellitteri. They collaborated on a new album called Wicked Maiden (2009). Wicked Maiden was released in Japan and Europe on February 24, 2009, with the intent of releasing the new album in the United States in 2011, followed by the Impellitteri Shredfest tour.

Now, for the first time ever, the band’s career spanning music is available on Wake the Beast! More:

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