Indestructible Noise Command – Black Hearse Serenade (Ferocious Records)

Thursday, 18th December 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

An unheralded thrash band from the 80s reforming to give it another run…not exactly a new refrain. Being that these bands aren’t walking into a pot of gold by reuniting, there’s a certain degree of fortitude that comes with the territory. As in, one’s past glories (if there even were any) probably have a lot more value given today’s nobody-gives-a-rat’s-you-know-what climate. Translation: a band like New York’s Indestructible Noise Command (INC) are probably doing this strictly to have fun with no illusions of re-climbing the ladder. As such, Black Hearse Serenade is the band’s second post-reformation album, and a surprisingly fresh one at that.

A bit short on the high-top thrash and more in line with the groove-laden focus of mid-90’s giants Machine Head and Pantera (it should be noted that INC sounds like neither, however), Black Hearse Serenade has a steady extreme angle, something evident on album opener “Stirring the Flock” and the pounding “Cyanide and Whiskey.” Vocalist Dennis Gergely is both animated and perfunctory a lot of the time – just reference the chunky (and fun) “Organ Grinder,” as well as the brash “Love Like Napalm,” which should be swiped as the name of a band if the young-ins were ever need. Nevertheless, Gergely’s youthful vocal prowess serves as just the right mediator between INC’s mostly balanced attack.

There’s generally a tilt for these old-but-new-again bands to sound a little stale and out of step, something INC avoids by and large with Black Hearse Serenade. It’s easy to dump this right into the ‘ole traditional thrash bucket, but don’t be duped by the band’s 80’s pedigree – this stuff could be passed off as something even more multi-faceted if it weren’t for INC’s aforementioned track record.

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