Talent is by birth, and it can only get better with age, practice and a touch of wisdom. So is the case with Guitarist Chris Impellitteri. Having been born on September 25, 1964, Chris took to guitaring just like a duck takes to water. The only competition he had was from Yngwie Malmsteen, another guitar great. However, there are some reasons why Chris is ahead of Yngwie time and again. When the guitar was invented, who would have known that it would also have a version known as “Heavy Metal.” This type of music comes with a huge amount of sound, mixed with the maximum amount of distortion. Just like we talk about the “sonic boom,” when a fighter plane crosses the speed of sound, similarly there is something called the sonic sound of heavy metal. It pierces the eardrums of the listeners driving them crazy and raises the pitch to a bone-crushing crescendo.
The rise of Chris has been phenomenal. Labeled as the fastest guitarist of all times by Guitar World Magazine in the year 2008. This is not all; he has been labeled as the second fastest shredder of all time. Yngwie Malmsteen occupies the third position. Yngwie had a neoclassical touch to his line of guitaring and music, which was widely accepted in the earlier days. However slowly this type of guitaring faded into oblivion. But when it came to pure heavy metal, Chris had a long successful run for decades together. The heavy metal style of music after it gained notoriety was something which Chris had perfected to the core, and he used to express his natural feelings, restlessness, and creativity on the stage while playing his guitar. His guitar was another extension of his body and to express his emotional frame of mind. This is one the best feature of Chris. As a result, his music, way of playing and the depth of the songs, gave him a huge fan following, which was unmatched for years to come.
He also realized that the shredder style of music was slowly losing its ground. Hence because of his innovative nature, Chris shifted his style of guitaring in a big way. As far as Yngwie Malmsteen style of guitaring was concerned, comparing with Chris, Yngwie has always been a step behind in implementing the type of music that is appreciated by one and all. He stuck to his neoclassical type of approach and tried improvising on it. However, listeners always want something new, something innovative to please their ears with, which Yngwie Malmsteen was not adept in handling quickly.
Conclusion: Apart from the style of play, a musician has to know what his “fans” want. Chris Impellitteri knew the pulse of the guitar in his hand. This enabled him to stay a step ahead of all his competitors and specially Yngwie Malmsteen. Sensitivity with a touch of the more exceptional points of music made Chris Impellitteri what he is today. He is a legend in own way. It will take another century for Yngwie Malmsteen to be at par with his nemesis.