HDK - System Overload
Season Of Mist
Melodic Death/Thrash, Gothic Metal
11 songs (47:38)
Release year: 2009
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

Written by main member Sander Gommans just before his crash-and-burn from the stress associated with his day job, After Forever, HDK stands for Hate Death Kill and according to Gommans, although it started out tongue-in-cheek it didn’t remain that way for long. You can hear this rooted in the vicious sounds of System Overload, although there’s such an overlay of hooks that this is less some extreme purging of emotions a la Strapping Young Lad and more like recent Hypocrisy with catchy Gothic Metal bits. Fortunately for everyone, the ‘heavy’ bits are heavy and the catchy bits are catchy, although they don’t always fit together as well as possible. On Hold and Breakdown are examples, a heavy Gothic Metal mix of harsh male and soft female vocals (sounding remarkably like Evanescence’s Amy Lee) that sort of works, but is hardly the best example of that sort of thing.

Enjoying System Overload isn’t hard; the hooks are well-written, certainly, and if you enjoy a steady diet of modern Melodeath there’ll be nothing outrageous to your tastes here. I doubt that this will last that long on your playlist, however, and it’s not the band’s fault, but the ‘heavy’ bits are as much Modern Thrash as Melodic Death, and whilst there are plenty of fairly pulverising moments, there’s nothing that’ll stick in your head for long. It’s a pity, as there’s enough variety to keep most Metalheads amused, and guest spots from the likes of Andre Matos (Angra, Shaman) and Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) are well-placed and enjoyable. The cyber-Power/Thrash Metal of Request and the rip-roaring March are enjoyable, yet I’m sure I’m not the only one who’ll be raising an eyebrow at Let Go’s Nu-Metal moments, or the tired groove of Terrorist. As decent as System Overload is, it ultimately isn’t that great, doesn’t break new ground or do anything that you haven’t heard before, so the best advice that can be given is to make damn sure you know what you’re getting into first.

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Killing Songs :
Request, March, Fight Or Flight, Fine Lines
Goat quoted 67 / 100
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