INDESTRUCTIBLE NOISE COMMAND, Heaven Sent…Hellbound¬† (2011, Rising)

The skull:
There’s something hilariously tacky here, and it’s not the fanged and helmeted skull. It’s not the generic Photoshoppery, and it’s not the fact we’re getting yet another blah-brown album cover (enough already!). It’s those little lightning streaks coming out of the bullhorns, bullhorns that are apparently commanding us with indestructible noise. Thank god for those little lightning bolts or we would have never been able to comprehend the high concept here. They tossed in an upside down star and a tattered flag too. You look at this cover and pretty much know the music’s going to stink. You’d think after a 22-year absence they’d have something more to say instead of rolling out all the usual overdone metal cliches, but then look at what band we’re dealing with here…

The music:
Was never a big fan of these guys back in the day. Their third-rate thrash couldn’t really compete with the many better bands doing pretty much the same thing. They played in a Testament/Metallica sort of vein: upbeat and tight, aggressive but controlled, ripped jeans, white high tops…you know the story. They disappeared without much fanfare after 1988’s The Visitor and reformed in 2010, also without much fanfare. They blessed us with this clumsily-titled full-length album a year later, and it’s horrible. Now they sound like Pantera meets Machine Head, and even if you like Pantera and Machine Head, chances are you won’t accept this poor facsimile. They really should have known better and tried to appeal to the Municipal Waste crowd instead. It was extremely difficult to sit through this overly-long album (nearly 60 minutes), especially with that dog barking like Phil Anselmo the whole time. Apparently this band is only destined to follow in the footsteps of their heroes (and far behind), be it Bay Area thrash then or modern aggro toughguy metal now.
— Friar Wagner