"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Indestructible Noise Command - "Heaven Sent, Hellbound" (CD)

Indestructible Noise Command - "Heaven Sent, Hellbound" CD cover image

"Heaven Sent, Hellbound" track listing:

1. Jackboot Thugbots (1:34)
2. Fist of Fascista (5:06)
3. God Loves Violence (4:25)
4. Bleed The Line (6:09)
5. Swallowed (7:52)
6. The Good Bones Stay Down (4:53)
7. Full Metal Jacket (4:19)
8. Rain (4:20)
9. Audio Erotic Asphyxiation (5:23)
10. It’s Coming (5:05)
11. If I Were President (5:15)
12. Fueled by Regret (5:35)

Reviewed by on May 24, 2011

"Old-school fans coming back for the ride will find the band has not been trapped in a time warp. The goofy sound of the past now has a lethal, groove-injected bite."

The thrash resurgence has brought back obscure bands that haven’t been heard from in decades. For them, it’s another chance at stardom or an opportunity to make an impression on fresh-faced listeners. Indestructible Noise Command, or I.N.C for short, reunited last year and have released their first studio record in 23 years, “Heaven Sent, Hellbound.” Old-school fans coming back for the ride will find the band has not been trapped in a time warp. The goofy sound of the past now has a lethal, groove-injected bite.

No more cartoon-ish cover art or abstract rendition of songs from The Cars. There is no room for brevity in their serious attitude. Religion, politics, and the pitfalls of humanity are the harsh lyrics spat out by Dennis Gergely. With a new bassist in the ranks, Gergely focuses on his aggressive barking tone. His voice has a lot more power than in the early days, though he puts on this faux Phil Anselmo cloak to sound indistinguishable from the hundreds of clones that popped up in the late ‘90s.

“Jackboot Thugbots” is the standard instrumental, leading into the groovy “Fist Of Fascista.” The band is inspired by the work of Machine Head, Lamb Of God, and Pantera, with the chugging riffs and loud rhythm. Much of the album is in this vein, heavy and punchy, but lacking in innovation. The last four songs pound this sound into the ground, and while “If I Were President” does something different with a bouncy melody, little is done to inject some pizzazz in.

Indestructible Noise Command has not forgotten their thrash upbringing. “God Loves Violence” is vicious in its tempered assault on the ultra-religious, and “Bleed The Line” doesn’t subside on the unhinged tempo generated. “Full Metal Jacket” drops the lame sound byte used on the version released on last year’s “Bleed The Line” EP, but keeps the latter-day Exodus vibe. The guitars are nothing to scoff at, especially from a lead’s perspective; the shredding will melt chromium.

“Swallowed” is the only track where the band is bold enough to take initiative. The track breaks the mold by incorporating a rich orchestral breakdown at the halfway mark. The jolt into a thrash frenzy is one of the most exciting moments on the record. “Swallowed” shows a level of comfort that should have been dwelled upon more than just one instance.

Comparing “Swallowed” to the rest of the album shows one glaring flaw: the band’s insistence on playing it safe. “Heaven Sent, Hellbound” is almost like a second debut for Indestructible Noise Command. Their third album is a welcome-back party for the regulars and an introduction to ween in all the newcomers. The band seems energized by the extended break, and their more direct approach suit them better. Hopefully, this is just a starting point towards something more adventurous on the next record. “Heaven Sent, Hellbound” will find an audience with people into modern metal, as long as they don’t mind a little groove with their thrash.

Highs: Ripping leads, harsher vocals fit music, thrash with a little groove

Lows: Last few songs blend together, not enough innovative material like "Swallowed"

Bottom line: Indestructible Noise Command revitalizes their career with their modern thrash take on "Heaven Sent, Hellbound."

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)