[7/10] In spite of sounding pretentious, Imminent Sonic Destruction is actually a pretty cool name. It’s not as literal as the band would have hoped (only “real” sonic destruction happens at Manowar concerts, from what Blistering has been told), but it’s fun to say, and you can always toss in the acronym of ISD if you want to make it short…and make it sound like a computer geek term. “Hey, have you seen my ISD hook-up for my DSL-compatible PC that is powered by HP?” Anyway…
Based out of Detroit, ISD is helmed by singer/guitarist Tony Piccoli, who (according to their bio) went on to snag a veritable who’s-who of Detroit-area musicians to round out the lineup. As such, the band’s sound on their Recurring Themes debut is an amalgam of progressive and modern metal, falling somewhere between Dream Theater’s more fired-up moments (minus the technical frenzy) and molten meathead metal. Piccolo’s vocals are a bit unnatural sounding when it comes down to songs like “Temple” and the full-throttle “Sick,” where he sounds like an off-key James Labrie (he should lose the grunts in “Sick” too), which could very well be the biggest sticking point with ISD.
The bulk of the album’s nine songs are quite long (save for “The Remembering”) and they’re jam-packed with a deluge of ideas and instrumental breaks. So as we noted above, the band is trying to hit ‘em on both ends with regular, Average Joe metal material (see: the chorus for “Monster”) and progressive jam-outs, like on “Breaking Through,” which takes a Dream Theater-like instrumental sojourn complete with proggy keyboards and snappy time-changes.
Quite a bit of potential here, so perhaps it’s a good thing that ISD takes a few stumbles on Recurring Themes in order to learn from their mistakes. We’ve long held a soft spot for unsigned bands doing their own things on this level and with some fine-tuning and seasoning, ISD could find itself on a quality mid-level label like Sensory or Metalville.