I.N.C – Black Hearse Serenade

Born in 1985, I.N.C (INDESTRUCTIBLE NOISE COMMAND) are a five-piece thrash/ heavy metal band from Bridgeport, Connecticut. They are made up of Dennis Gergely on vocals, EriK Barath on guitar, Anthony Fabrizi on guitar, Dave Campo on bass and Kyle Shepard on drums. Black Hearse Serenade is the latest offering from INC; realised on October 21st through Ferocious Records. Here’s what I thought.

The album begins with Stirring the Flock which builds an immediate sense of dread through the use of voices and chanting. This opens up to guitars that sound conventionally thrash from the first note. The whole song is a thrill ride between fast riffs and harmonics and a great way to open the album as it gives the listener a clear impression of how the rest of the album will sound.

This is followed by Sainted Sinners which is groovier than it’s predecessor but, in no way, compromises its metal sound. This track is alive and features some excellent drumming from Kyle Shepard. This track feels like a hybrid between Pantera and Lamb of God (great for me since I love both). 3:44 a momentary break from the metal, adding a different dynamic to the track.

Track number three, Cyanide and Whiskey, opens up with grunge-style guitars and the occasional pinch harmonic. This makes way for fairly slow paced vocals and drums that sound they could have come straight from The Great Southern Trendkill. This song moves seamlessly through many different tempos and pitches that it feels like a musical journey and is interesting to listen to.

Organ Grinder ups the game with a faster paced, yet steady track (perfect for a cheeky headband). I particularly like the dialogue style vocals in this song. The back and fourth makes for an interesting dynamic. This track is a lot of fun to listen to amidst the clear vocals and the excellent guitar solos.

The title track of the album, Black Hearse Serenade, follows. It starts by sounding like a live performance. The drums which introduce this track are energetic and help the feeling that the song is building itself up. The punchy bass in this track stands out too, adding some beef which can sometimes be overlooked in old school thrash.

The Lies We Devour starts off with a darker, grimy edge to it before breaking away to manic drums. The guitars in this move between punchy and eerily delicate until the very end where they feel like they’ve launched an assault on your ears.

Lucky #7 is a power packed number which unleashes itself immediately; no soft introductions here. The inclusion of piano makes this track feel more ominous than those which came before. The pace throughout this song stays consistent until the end where the song seems to conclude in a blaze. This is a perfect example of juxtaposition given the next track, Invite This Plague, is a perfect contrast to Lucky #7 in terms of introduction. It’s a slow starter with dark sounding guitars and drums with reverb that sounds as if the listener is in a big, empty space. This falls away to, once more, dynamic guitars.

No Turning Back ends with chanting over dark guitars, giving it a religious feel and adding to the ominous feeling the album has built for itself. It’s a nice parallel between this and the first track tiring everything together nicely.

The introduction of Love Like Napalm is full of contrast between the ominous notes in the back ground and the beautiful acoustic guitar played over the top. The clean vocals add to this feeling making the whole track unpredictable. What follows is a far more epic song than the rest of the album, like a proper old school rock and roll ballad. This is the perfect way for this album to end.

Overall I enjoyed Black Hearse Serenade. I think INC bring a sound to their music that cannot be imitated by bands who are only just starting out now. Their experience of writing and playing in the 80s benefits their sound greatly. If you like your thrash, this album is for you.

Review by Eileen Bate.

“Black Hearse Serenade” track listing:

01. Stirring The Flock
02. Sainted Sinners
03. Cyanide and Whiskey
04. Organ Grinder
05. Black Hearse Serenade
06. The Lies We Devour
07. Lucky #7
08. Invite This Plague
09. No Turning Back

10. Love Like Napalm

I.N.C.

Dennis Gergely – Vocals

Erik Barath – Guitar Anthony Fabrizi – Guitar Dave Campo – Bass Kyle Shepard – Drums

Check out the Video for ‘No Turning Back’

Directed by Thomas Mignone (Slipknot, AX7, Mudvayne) and starring Micheal Rodrick (24, CSI, Without a Trace) ‘No Turning Back’ is the new single / video from U.S thrash metal band I.N.C. (Indestructible Noise Command).

The video tells the story of an evangelist in Southern California, luring in runaways and junkies in order to choose 7 to murder 1 by 1 as a ritual to bring forth the end of days by the antichrist. The 7th victim is a twist, there are mistakes made, and the person he most cares about is abducted. Will he finish the rite before time runs out?

‘Black Hearse Serenade’ is available to purchase now.

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