When I took a first glance at the cover of Innerload's React I just didn't know what to expect. Don't get me wrong. What would you expect from a band that chose such a terrible graphic design for the cover of their first full-length album? Fortunately, when I confronted the musical layer for the first time, all the anxiety I previously harbored, left. Hearing the very first guitar note filled my mind with peace. I knew that I am about to receive a solid dose of first-class heavy metal.
The first thing that really caught my attention is the guitar sound. It is absolutely superb! Not a thing is missing here - every tone is its rightful place. Therefore, let me just say that these guys have established the sound that a lot of young heavy metal bands just fail to achieve. You can state the latter not only with respect to the guitars. Unlike many new heavy metal records, where the sound of the drums seems flat, React delivers really spatial, deep, and intense tone of the instrument, which - from its very definition - should sound as a true power horse behind the band's intense energy. It sure does sound that way on this album. Brilliance!
The final effect is complemented by the distinct tone of the bass. This debut album - coming straight from Venice, Italy - has been mixed perfectly.
Furthermore, this great sound - and its potential - has not been wasted. The musical compositions are really heavy and powerful; just great! The fans of Black Label Society and Grand Magus - welcome home! This is the kind of playing that will bring you down to your knees with the intensity and power of its riffs! Rough, thick and solid, they linger in your memory for days; heavy and - at times - quite melodious. Rhythm section delivers simple, yet extremely intense and energetic background, which fuels this musical machine with pure fire.
Not even for a moment does the Innerload's debut album bore the listener. What more could you ask for? Guitar solos maybe? They’re here of course - explosive, intense and most importantly well-thought, accumulating everything that excellent heavy metal has to offer. Marco Cortese, the singer of the group, gives a great performance of his abilities. He sings in a low, melodic tone. There are no high – pitched vocals here, typical for this genre of heavy metal, nor will you find choruses in Iron Maiden's vein. Cortese's voice brilliantly complements the compositions, yet it stays rather in the background. His vocals are perfect completion for the music, however it is the instruments that play the leading role here.
Nevertheless, there is one major flaw in this album. It's simply too short! Gentlemen, why? The record delivers an intense, solid piece of heavy metal that puts your head in an unintentional spin and mosh, the music absorbs you completely when suddenly.. bang! (literally), and it's done. It's over. The moment you really start to admire the whole piece, it ends as rapidly at it has begun. Theoretically speaking 35 minutes should be quite enough, but not in the case of such a superb example of heavy metal music. I believe that Innerload should have put about 3 – 4 compositions more on the album. Especially, if they labeled it as LP, not EP.
To sum up, Innerload delivered an excellent piece of heavy metal music. Fans of brutal and technical genres of metal won't find it interesting, yet it does not mean that the record lacks intensity and fire, despite its melodic character. Excellent instrumental performance enriched with skillful and interesting vocals make a perfect combination here. The strongest musical piece on the album? Definitely, Fake World.
Again, the only thing that brings about the feeling of unsatisfaction is the fact that the album ends too quickly. Just as if it was released a bit too soon, without completing it with additional tracks. Nevertheless, I wish the band all the best in their future career. If they keep making records of quality as high as React, not a thing will keep me from becoming their fan.