According to their bio, Imminent Sonic Destruction is the brainchild of Detroit-based guitarist, vocalist and metal innovator Tony Piccoli. Influenced by the raw power of bands such as Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah and Pantera, as well as the disciplined complexities of progressive groups like Dream Theater and Genesis, Piccoli set out to change the face of metal. His blend of crushing guitars, ethereal overtones, a combination of vocal styles and wonderful melody are wrapped in subtly complex time signatures, skull-crushing guitar riffs, and melodic hooks so memorable that you will need surgery to get these songs out of your head.
Produced by Roy Z of Halford and Bruce Dickinson solo fame, this album has plenty of crunchy guitars, as is Roy’s trademark, mixed with traditional prog rock and modern metal. The first track, “Driving Home”, starts with a heavy groove and some 70’s sounding synthesizers courtesy of Pete Hopersberger. When the Piccoli’s vocals come in they are reminiscent of a more polished and in-key Chad Gray of Mudvayne. There are also some great harmony vocals are layered during the chorus. The guitar duo of Piccoli and Scott Thompson shred some tasty solo work before the song slows down to a serene soundscape reminiscent of Porcupine Tree meets King’s X.
Song number two, Monster kicks you right in the family jewels with a killer riff that would make Meshuggah proud before Piccoli’s melodic vocals smooth out the song momentarily during the chorus. This song has many Dream Theater-like elements mixed with some Mudvayne modern math metal influence. With Death, This Story Ends has a more modern metal approach especially with Piccoli’s use of with a combination of gutteral screams, melody and harmony. All the while the guitar solos are bright and technical without ever becoming overbearing or too flashy. Drummer Pat DeLeon shows off some fancy footwork as well as incredible time signature changes when needed and lots of groove. The thrashing fury starts off Breaking Through with a great riff and some intense tranquil slower passages, which bring Porcupine Tree to mind. The band does a complete 360 with the song Temple a mostly acoustic nod to the prog forefathers Genesis and Pink Floyd with a modern metal edge. Here, It’s Over and Sick bring a more modern metal approach to the music similar to Meshuggah and Strapping Young Lad however the prog influence is still layered in the foundation of the songs. The final track of the album is the epic 16-minute plus The Raven which takes the listener on a sonic journey from ethereal calmness, brutal riffs, melodic singing and harsh screams, frenzied keyboard flourishes, and culminating in a crescendo of shredding guitar solos over masterful percussive work.
Having just witnessed them opening the show for Pain of Salvation and Kingcrow on their current U.S. tour it surprises me about ISD is that a band with this much talent has not caught the eye of a larger metal record label. Hopefully with the release of Recurring Themes, the band will be thrust into the forefront of the U.S. progressive and modern metal scene where they belong.
And, here is Monster by Imminent Sonic Destruciton.
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