Imminent Sonic Destruction
Recurring Themes


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
February 21st, 2012 | 119 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blending modern metal with traditional prog while not succumbing to the stereotypical pitfalls of either.

There was a time when labeling an album ‘progressive metal’ could pretty much describe the music’s direction and sound. It meant that there was more than likely going to be high pitched vocals, extended solos, 70s-rock influences and musicianship at the expense of heaviness and/or emotion. Basically, the term ‘progressive’ as it applied to metal didn’t mean progression or outside-of-the-box ideas; it only meant that the vocals were going to anger your dog and the music would most likely ensure the continued safety of your virginity. Fortunately, bands have slowly moved beyond such a limited description to the point that ‘progressive metal’ is finally becoming the open-ended genre that it should have always been – although it probably still won’t get you laid. Granted, there are still plenty of bands trying to be the next Dream Theater, but there seems to be even more that are trying to present a modern and diverse vision of prog – with the release of Recurring Themes, Imminent Sonic Destruction are one of the latter.

The album’s opening track, “Driving Home”, might actually lead listeners to believe that the band are going to indulge in the kind of laid-back prog that Porcupine Tree have pretty much perfected; and who could blame them? The song is built around a catchy, harmonized chorus, chill clean guitar melodies, sci-fi influenced keyboards and just enough riffy goodness to remind people that this is supposed to be metal. The main thing that sticks out at this early point in the album is the vocals of Tony Piccoli. His main vocal style could best be described as a blend of Denis Belanger (VoivodAngel Rat-era) and the clean singing of Chad Gray (Mudvayne). For those that have somehow never heard one of those vocalists (how is it you’re reading this?), it’s basically a melodic, albeit nasally, vocal style that sits closer to the higher registers but without reaching any piercing octaves. The other part that sticks out while listening to the opening track is the sudden scream at around seven minutes that marks the transition to a big closing guitar solo. From this point on, though, the band moves away from the overuse of traditional prog elements in favor of a tighter integration with modern metal.

This additional influence is readily apparent as soon as the heavy, cyclic riffs and double bass of “Monster” begin and create an instant contrast with the melody of the opening track. That doesn’t mean that the band have done away with the melodic elements, though, because the choruses are still prominent and catchy, and the vocal harmonies are still used extensively. The difference is that they’re contrasted on either side by heavy riffs, darker melodies and clean singing accentuated by occasional death growls and black metal shrieks. In fact, over the extended track lengths the band are able to segue from chugging riffs and black metal screams to soaring leads and keyboard solos to mellow melodic passages without ever sounding forced. Additionally, there’s no real formula to how each element is used; i.e. melodic passages for the choruses and heavier sections for everything else. Instead, each song just flows naturally from section to section without ever losing track of the actual song or cramming in any unnecessary parts just to show off their musical chops.

When a band is labeled progressive metal, it’s hard to know whether you’re going to get the latest Dream Theater clone or if it’s one of the newer artists that are willing to be a little different – Imminent Sonic Destruction are willing to be a little different. At the heart of each song is definitely the kind of prog influence that probably came from bands such as Porcupine Tree and Devin Townsend – the kind of prog that keeps the actual song at the forefront while still taking the listener on a bit of a trip – but there’s a little more to it than that. The ‘little more’ comes from the band’s tendency to include heavy, cyclical, modern metal-influenced riffs that even occasionally signal the arrival of a little bit of death metal growls or black metal shrieks. This blend of chugging riffs and other modern elements with traditional prog works really well without ever coming off as cliché or formulaic, and the end result is an album that will require a lot of listens to fully absorb while still being enjoyable each and every time. There’s not a lot of information on this band (in fact, this album was released without a label), so I can’t tell you if this is a debut or album number ten, but I can say that Recurring Themes is an excellent release by a band that is talented enough to blend the heaviness of modern metal with traditional progressive elements while also being smart enough to not overdo any individual element.



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
February 20th 2012


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album Stream:

http://www.guitarworld.com/unsigned-spotlight-imminent-sonic-destruction-stream-new-album-recurring-themes

Edit: At least check out the song "With Death"... love that one.



Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/imminentsonicdestruction/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/imminentsonicdestruction/

I can't tell you what songs are on those sites because I am at work (and they are blocked), but check them out. Especially "With Death, This Story Ends".

Digging: Necropoli - I

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2012


31168 Comments


Coding error in the second para

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

elephantREVOLUTION
February 20th 2012


2744 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this sound pretty sweet. can't wait to hear it

bloc
February 20th 2012


34853 Comments


Couldn't get into the vocals

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2012


31168 Comments


Yeah, can't really say I immediately fell in love with the fb samples, but I'll check it out

Willie
Moderator
February 20th 2012


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Coding error in the second para
Thanks. I hadn't had a chance to check the posted review yet. Now I don't have to ;)

Couldn't get into the vocals
What song? What was your main issue?

Yeah, can't really say I immediately fell in love with the fb samples, but I'll check it out
Yeah, the vocals have to grow on you and the album really works when taken more as a whole. I really like it after listening to it all day.

CaptainDooRight
February 20th 2012


29132 Comments


looks cool will check

also feature this

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

foreverjohndeered
February 20th 2012


897 Comments


sounds so good

taylormemer
February 20th 2012


4917 Comments


As soon as I saw the album art I knew this was Trey.

Willie
Moderator
February 20th 2012


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

looks cool will check

also feature this
Eventually. There are other albums that were posted first that need to be cycled in.

sounds so good
Based on the review or did you hear some of it?

As soon as I saw the album art I knew this was Trey.
ha ha. Based on our other (currently contributing) staff members, that's not hard to guess ;)

foreverjohndeered
February 20th 2012


897 Comments


the review, i havent heard anything from it

bloc
February 20th 2012


34853 Comments


I don't mind the vocals when he's really belting it out, it's actually more when he's taking it easy like on the verse in Here, It's Over (listening to Promo 1 vid).

Still going to listen to the album though, as the music sounds good.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2012


31168 Comments


Album art is kinda lulzy

Willie
Moderator
February 20th 2012


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't mind the vocals when he's really belting it out, it's actually more when he's taking it easy like on the verse in Here, It's Over (listening to Promo 1 vid).

Still going to listen to the album though, as the music sounds good.
Good man ;)

Album art is kinda lulzy
Yeah I should add "... except the artwork," to the end of my summary.

bloc
February 20th 2012


34853 Comments


Dude almost all prog art is crap

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2012


31168 Comments


It just looks like they've taken elements from like 10 different DT albums (or any other prog rock/metal outfit)

Acanthus
February 20th 2012


9543 Comments


A Willie review! Nice read sir.

Digging: Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood

Willie
Moderator
February 20th 2012


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. My reviews have slowed down alot because I just don't have the time. I have a few half finished reviews, but as soon as the release date is a week over-due I lose interest. This review just seemed to flow out, though.

AsoTamaki
February 20th 2012


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Driving Home" sounded pretty good. The keyboards in the intro were awesome. Is there more of that? Was kind of disappointed that they didn't play a bigger role throughout. The whole intro was probably the most enjoyable part of the song actually. The singer is just alright. The verses are cool, but I didn't really like the chorus, especially those backing vocals.

I'll check this out when it's released. New melodic prog metal isn't a bad thing.

Willie
Moderator
February 20th 2012


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There's more of everything that was on "Driving Home" just in varying amounts. The keyboards play a larger role on some songs and lesser role on others. I'm not trying to be a smartass, it's just the answer ;)

The vocalist will probably be a sticking point for some, but I like Voivod and Mudvayne so other than a few random moments, his vocals are just fine.



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