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HDK - System Overload (CD)

System Overload
by Ian Kaatz at 09 March 2009, 6:59 PM

This record instantly got my attention since the demise of AFTER FOREVER was just a few short months ago. I was really interested to hear how Sander would take the musical direction of the band especially because of the original name of the band. I was expecting something very Death oriented as a departure from what he was doing in AFTER FOREVER. Well, I was only a fraction of the way right.
HDK, originally titled HATE DEATH KILL, is a project not a band that was formed by Sander Gommans (ex-AFTER FOREVER). The project features some familiar faces from AFTER FOREVER as well as some of the Sander's friends and co-hosts from around the Metal world including Andre Matos and Arjen Lucassen. The sound is very diverse going every which way that Sander has been writing for AFTER FOREVER, but then multiply the intensity a million fold.
The first track is a perfect album starter. Mixing Death, Thrash, Power and Melodic songwriting all in a 3-minute track might sound a little busy, but it just hits you like a ton of bricks. The track also features clean vocals and death vocals. I honestly can't imagine a better way to start this album.  The next track is another dynamic work of art containing all colors of the metal spectrum within one track, flawless again. One thing I wish is that there was a track by track listing of the performers for each song. One thing is for sure I am now a fan of Jos Severens since I love the clean vocals all over this record and I already know that I love Matos. The third track really picks it up on the Death end of things thus far for the album. Where as the first two tracks had equal parts clean and death vocals this track is primarily death oriented.
Terrorist is a nice groovy number and I think the screams are from Mike and they are fricking awesome throaty and raspy sounds perfect with the thrash groove going on. The follow up features Amanda more then the previous songs thus far and the song really lets her show us her talents as a front woman. This is easily one of the more catchy numbers from the entire album. On Hold is probably the least diverse track on the album and it leans exclusively to a Thrash-y Death style; this track kind of lost my attention. I am quickly drawn back in by the next cut. The male vocals are the rap vocals done by Paul, but they are very aggressive sounding and slightly reminiscent of the rapping Daniel Gildenlow (PAIN OF SALVATION) does on Be. This track is borderline Nu-Metal, but that doesn't bother me as much as some since it is also very multi-faceted track. I better stop here otherwise this thing is gonna get way too long. The rest of the album is great just like the rest of it containing  pretty much every kind of Metal expect like a Viking Metal.
HDK is a record that I really have some high hopes for this year.  I honestly believe that it will end up in a quiet a few top 10s at the end of the year due to the catchiness of the songs as well as their brutality and originality. Guess with the death of AFTER FOREVER we have a re-birth and hopefully it will become at least a live performing band doing select gigs.

4 Star Rating

System Overload
Let Go
On Hold
Fight Or Flight
Fine Lines
Sander Gommans - Vocals, Rhythm, Acoustic & Solo Guitars
Amanda Somerville - Vocals, Whispers, Lyrics
Peter Vink - Bass
Arien Van Weesenbeek - Drums
Andre Matos - Clean Vocals
Jos Severens - Clean Vocals
Patrick Savelkoul - Grunts, Screams
Mike Scheijen - Screams
Paul Niessen - Rap Vocals
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Guitar
Joost Van den Broek - Keyboards
Marcel Coenen - Guitar
Bastiaan Kuiper - Guitar
Record Label: Season Of Mist Records


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