Incoming Cerebral Overdrive - _Le Stelle: A Voyage Adrift_
(Supernatural Cat, 2012)
by: Dan Lake (7.5 out of 10)
With so many extreme bands working to establish a single recognizable sound, it's refreshing to hear a band like Incoming Cerebral Overdrive play the style field. Heard in its entirety, _Le Stelle: A Voyage Adrift_ plays out like a just-published textbook treatise on modern global metal relations. The opening chapters ("Mirzam", "Betelgeuse" and "Sirius") wax all Mediterranean Mastodon, with their progged-out meta-melodies, spacey electronic bursts, and bouncy bass thuds. Then ICO break out the Meshuggie Boogie for "Kochab" and "Adhara" before Gojiralizing their riff stew on "Pherkad" and punking out on "Sirius B". Thankfully, Stefano Tocci's synth work keeps any song from sounding exactly like its influences, alongside the clear skill with which the rest of the band members handle their temperamental compositions. Some vocals are unsurprisingly roared, while others sound like a tree frog who got kicked in the throat... not far distant from the croaking heard on Fredrik Thordendal's _Sol Niger Within_. The album is not consistently successful in its attempt to sculpt something new from fragments of the old, but its spiny, twisting passages are never dull or easily dismissed.

On a more cynical note, ICO seem to be hanging substantial hope on fellow Italians UFOmammut's rising star: _Stelle_ achieves release through that band's Supernatural Cat label at the same time that UFOmammut present the world their two-installment _Oro_ work, and UFOmammut members contribute synth and guitar performances to a pair of back-half _Stelle_ tracks. It's an odd pairing, since ICO have about as much in common with UFOmammut's quark-fucking starbirth dramas as frog genetics have with pig DNA. Such a selling point is as unfair as it is misleading, since ICO will appeal to a fairly broad swath of 'bangers and shouldn't be limited to the built-in audience that their psyche-drone compatriots can deliver.

Contact: http://www.incomingcerebraloverdrive.com/

(article published 15/7/2012)


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