My word. That name. You’re probably reading this and judging instantly, even if you force yourself to try otherwise. Straight out of the meathead metal name generator. Let’s face it, it is just plain terrible.
But hey, let’s go beyond this, after all, ICO are Italian, English is not their first language, we can cut them some slack right? Their debut album had Converge’s Kurt Ballou at the production desk, which pulls back more than a little kudos for them. And besides, given their penchant for not letting any one riff last for more than 15 seconds, perhaps it is actually quite fitting, in a super literal kind of way.
Yep, for the most part, this is true ADHDcore, where nothing remains stationary. Vocals ping-pong between a gruff bark and a black metal influenced rasp, tempo and time changes are abound and from the opening staccato of ‘Reflections’, the adjectives of choice to describe the prevalent sounds are ‘mental’ and ‘brutal’. The issue however, is that it’s nothing we haven’t heard before from US and UK counterparts such as The Red Chord and Architects.
The blistering likes of ‘Oxygen’ and ‘Science’ will have seasoned ’core kids throwing themselves around their rooms like they’re trying to swat 10 wasps at once. But, as is the case for their two aforementioned contemporaries on record-when you pack so many ideas into one song, and then continue to do so for nearly every song in the set, it becomes so very hard for each individual track to forge an identity. As a result, it is the slower tracks, ‘Magic’ and ‘There’, the ones that rein in the insanity in favour of lurching dischords, harrowing synths and riffs that repeat for more than a few bars, that actually begin to set the album apart from the crowd.
So in all, Incoming Cerebral Overdrive have created an album that is worth checking out for a brief lesson in what hardcore influenced metal has tended towards in the last 5 years. And fair play to them, they are much better than your first impression would have suggested. But for a more rewarding experience a newcomer to the genre should check out the innovations of their former mentor’s band.