Here's the thing: Tony Piccoli's brainchild, Imminent Sonic Destruction, is a highly entertaining progressive metal band with a nice touch of death metal thrown in. On the band's first album, Recurring Themes, you get nine tracks of energetic, Dream Theater-esque rhythyms with the inspired addition of death metal growls/screams, all with a satisfying doom metal chug. What's not to like?
Unfortunately, there's a couple of things - and they're hard to ignore. Even more unfortunate that they both come from Tony himself, the mastermind behind this otherwise great album. The first is the solo work. While Tony has some respectable chops, and his right hand doles out some great Sabbathy 6th string riffage, the solos just don't fit the music in this age of genre masters like Petrucci or [In Flames' Jesper] Strömblad.
Also, he sounds like Weird Al Yankovic.
I shit you not. And it pains me to say it in as much as it immediately detracts from the otherwise fantastic tunes on this album, but I have a couple of Weird Al's highly entertaining albums (as a bit of a nerd myself, I particluarly love White and Nerdy) and there is a scary resemblance. After a while, I could only visualize Weird Al singing as I listened to the whole album.
For what it's worth, my recommendation to this band is to spend some serious time finding a melodic shredder and a powerful singer with a good range for clean and growling vocals. And let Tony keep writing more great songs.
The Bottom Line: Unfortunately, this is an album kept from sheer greatness by collapsing under the weight of its ambition. Tony Piccoli's songwriting is fantastic, but this band desparately needs a new singer and better guitar solos. I certainly will be keeping my ears open for the next album from this band.
Tracks That Prove This Band Could Be Great: Monster, Breaking Through, Sick, Raven
- Genghis knows that sometimes you just have to call it like you see it...