Innervenus Music Collective
Review by Rick Ossian
Titles alone should award this lot with at least a couple of stars. Yes you heard me correctly – how about that album title? This is Number 6 for this aggregation from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and from the sounds of things everything is quite intact. If you prefer your metal slamming directly out of the gate, with plenty of ‘Cookie Monster‘ vocals (albeit with some restraint, and another vocalist who actually sings! Yay!), double-bass drumming and guitar/bass shred, then listen up because this is right up your alley!
Bad Love Clusterfuck (see what I mean about titles?) sounds exactly like it’s title. Full speed ahead, with a manic tempo blueprint that stamps their recent work, this track is definitely no-holds-barred. With energy like this, it’s no wonder that I’m already on my second listen. My noggin was decidedly bobbing up and down to this number. There are others like it, as we shall see on our journey. Wipe You Out, for example, features more of the same, especially when one considers the drums! Holy crap the pounding that this set receives, percussively speaking, is worthy of note. You will probably hear me speak of it again in a minute.
Speaking of the drums, lets get some personnel stuff straight; the VERY busy drummer I mentioned is Mr. Tom D’Andrea, and he may as well be the centerpiece of my missive, as he is very much at the center of things throughout. Not that this is a bad thing. I happen to like good drumming! Closely by his side is bassist/backing vocalist Mark Bogacki (another busy member of the collective), vocalist par excellence Scott Massie (also the lyricist), lead/rhythm guitarist Andy Kichi, and Adam Weston, who holds down vocals and does double duty on the guitars as well. Together they form an indeed tightly-woven collective, and I’m not normally into the heavy -duty thrash/doom stuff, so this is a considerable compliment.
Napalm is a LONG number (8:49)with an extremely cool lead guitar intro. This is some serious sludge/doom here, or, as SK would call it, “progressive death and thrashtastic doomcore“. However, do not concern yourself with being mired in the sludge. In America, we can get ourselves out of the ditch, thank you very much. Which, by the way, is exactly what they do at about the five-minute mark. A fine, ‘progtastic thrashy doom-laden’ number indeed!
Next up, as Carl would say, “let’s do this week’s Covered, shall we?” None other than my fave track from Faith No More’s The Real Thing LP, “Surprise! You’re Dead“. This fine cover contains the ferocity of the original and then some. Backfill is another double slam right out of the gate, featuring both singers (Cookie Monster and regular!), plus an intensely slamming ending! With this number we enter what I would deem the ‘meat’ of the album, or Side Two for us old-school farts. Retribution is another heavy duty number, slamming double time directly out of the gate AGAIN (broken record, anyone?), sounding more like a threat than a song. At one point our hero pretty much lays down the gauntlet: ‘What the fuck is wrong with you?’
Adrift is another epic prog/thrash/doom mini masterpiece (8:15), and again comes rocketing out of your stereo system like some sort of hell-bent harbinger of, erm, doom. Heh heh. Storm King deploys what I would refer to as the ‘treadmill effect’ on this number, almost sounding like a record skipping – but I was not fooled – this should not work, but somehow it still does. Enigmatic. At about the four-and-a-half minute mark, an ethereal guitar solo takes us on a journey with shred. It also features a rainstorm with thunderclaps and everything at the close – now how metal is that?
Eternal Sleep Lord, the closer, pounds us into submission with some chunky opening riffs and a drum fill intro, then more Cookie Monster vocals. At 2:50 there is another tasty guitar solo. The ESL doesn’t sound like someone to muck about with, either: “Crusher of the underworld/Give it every prayer/But it still seems that there’s/No place to hide from your doom/No where to run“. There you have it, then. Eight tracks, no problems. Sleep tight if you can!
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