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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review: Invertia - Another Scheme of the Wicked (Ohm Resistance)

Invertia - Another Scheme of the Wicked (Ohm Resistance

Invertia label themselves as Industrial/Black Metal, from New England, USA. Although an accurate title, I don’t think that description does them justice. There’s more to them than a pigeonhole marketing tag. Let this review speak to that.
‘Another Scheme of the Wicked’ is a five song mini album, with each track remixed at the end, bringing it to full album length. The music contained within could be described as bleak, angular shades of black and grey. Not unlike the creature on the cover art, which captures the feel of and almost describes the music of Invertia perfectly. 

This is particularly relevant in the opener 'The Sidewinder'. Which delves between moody discordant guitar strings, to black metal chaos and then industrial pulses. All laced together with misanthropic satanic voice samples.

Noticeable in the second track "Cross Eyed Christ" and again in the third "Void of Community", are angular, discordant rhythms that lock down with the programmed drums. In both of these songs, the main riffs smack you like a whip as it lashes out in time with the snare.

Track four "Hourglass Without Sand" starts out in a consistent tone to those previous, before being treated to a mid song interlude, which sounds like something off Beherit's "Drawing Down the Moon", performed after a nuclear apocalypse, in an abandoned power station.

The fifth and final non-remixed tune is "They're everywhere". It kicks in at an insane suffocating speed, before a vacuum briefly draws you up into the stratosphere only to drop you straight back into the blender to the manic chant of "jesus christ will set you free".

Now I’d like to throw in a thought. Whether Invertia choose to take it on board of course is up to them. Programmed drums/drum machines can do a whole raft things that a real drummer can't. By saying that I mean other that going inhumanly fast. There are is a limitless range of percussive sounds available that go way beyond that of a standard drum kit. I’d love for Invertia to embrace and explore that concept on their future recordings.

Now we get on to the remixes. First up is Justin Broadrick’s melodic ‘Jesu’ treatment of 'The Sidewinding'. A welcome oasis (the kind you find when lost in a desert, not the brit-pop band) like relief after the previous onslaught of harsh darkness. Justin really takes this somewhere else and turns it into his own song. He's done this and yet made it fit in comfortably with the rest of 'Another Scheme of the Wicked'. Good job!

This is followed by the ‘End.User’ remix of 'Chris Eyed Christ'. Opening with a fazed grinding bass sample, then layered with ominous floating keyboard and then Irregular off time percussion. Like the previous JKB remix, this takes the tune somewhere completely new. This track reminds me of the disjointed unorthodox feel of Mayhem’s ‘Ordo Ad Chao’.

The ‘TranZi3nT’ remix of 'Lack of Community' continues in a similar vein to the End.User mix, if not a tad less inspired. It does have some interesting hypnotic drone passages though.

The ‘Submerged’ remix feels less inspired, using predictable techno beats and sample loops from the song 'Hourglass Without Sand'. It would be my least favourite track on the album, but yet it still fits in consistently with everything around it.

Lastly, ‘R3TRD’ remix 'They're Everywhere' with pulsating rhythmic power-electronic style noise with bonus distortion on everything, accompanied by a slow simple hypnotic beat.

While all the remixes aren't perfect, they do display enough variety to make you feel as though you aren't listening to the original five songs over again. This of course serves the release well, as it sounds like a full album's worth of material.

Overall ‘Another Scheme of the Wicked’ is a fresh and rewarding listen. In my view, it explores new ground within the realms of extreme metal. If you enjoy metal that isn’t afraid to explore the territory of industrial electronics, this could be for you.

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