Dr. Hourai – Inverted Gas Attack

Dr. Hourai
Inverted Gas Attack

The best part of this song is the intro: organs and guitars lead into a classic metal progression that brings in some child’s voice talking about a machine destroying the riff. When the guitars blast in and the vocals rip off screams, I’m thinking this can be good. Then everything just goes way to hell, and not in the good way either.

The band changes times often enough to make your head spin, usually increasing pace then dropping back for some reason. One minute the song is sung, the next screamed, slow-ish here, frenzied and ridiculously fast there. It’s punk, it’s hardcore, it’s metal – most of the time it’s an awkward mish-mash of all of that, with a little Cheap Trick thrown in for good (or bad) measure.

Something about the way the singer sings reminds me a tad of those more progressive-minded metal bands, and his own scream just reeks of Iron Maiden and the like, while the background singer’s screams are much more typical hardcore and work much better. The lyrics themselves are no homage to pleasantries: “You wonder why they’re bleeding from their eyes and reek of dysenteric lacerated flesh and bone.” By the end, there’s this guttural growl that’s straight out of death metal and may just be the devil himself offering music advice: keep playing, because you’re sure to piss someone off.

I have no idea what to call this, except that it’s surprisingly difficult to listen to. There’s nothing to grasp on to here. The band doesn’t so much combine styles as switch between them at breakneck pace. Pick one and go with it. At the foundation here, Dr. Hourai appears to be a metal band, and if they just played metal, I think we’d all be better off. I’m sure their rapid changes are intentional, but this kind of experimentation doesn’t work as well as the band hopes.