As I’ve stated in a previous review, modern metal is inundated with mediocrity and emulation. Similar to the way pop music runs with a trend, flooding our senses with the flavor of the week, metal picked up this nasty habit right around the time the Nu-Metal craze died off. Take a moment to reflect the bombardment of groups that mirrored AS I LAY DYING in 2005, WHITECHAPEL in 2009, and the djent-core craze that has currently taken hold. This brings us to the discussion of bands such as VOLUMES, STRUCTURES, and INVENT, ANIMATE. I gave a few spins to the new disc by the guys in IA, and, frankly, I can’t tell any one of those bands apart from the next. That’s not to say I abhorred what I heard, but to make the point that I found it very generic. Regardless, their latest record, Everchanger, will be released August 26 through Tragic Hero Records.
From the first moments of the disc, trendiness ensues. “Sol” starts things off, exploiting a currently overused fad for beginning songs with a condensed, lo-fi section that quickly explodes into the full out sound of the group. Think of the intro to “Mile Zero” by PERIPHERY, and you’ll get what I’m describing. I take it this is meant to be a play on dynamics, but it’s just an angle that has been bent too far. Moving forward, “Naturehold” and “Nocturne: Lost Faith” play out much the same, showing the essence of INVENT, ANIMATE’S sound. It is an aural plane of crushing, down-tuned percussion riffs laced with arpeggiated, often ambient, melody. Lead single “Courier” is actually a good source to exemplify all of the areas covered on Everchanger. “Moon Phase” may be the heaviest song on the record, so naturally I favored this one. Furthermore, this seemed to be the song with the fewest number of breakdowns.
The second half of the album yielded little as far as innovation, however, kept things on a steady path, dishing out bouncy, energetic tunes until its completion. Being a sucker for a good closer, I always make sure to give special attention to this area of the record. It’s the summation of its parts, the conclusion to the story, the last dance, if you will. Fortunately, “Luna” combines multiple elements of prior tracks to address the material previously covered, and serve its listener with a fitting movement to wrap up the overall statement of the piece.
I will offer the disclosure that despite my rough words for certain kinks used on Everchanger, the music was very entertaining. In fact, my only real issue with the record is the vocals; which felt as though they were just serving the purpose of being there more than they were to be an independent instrument, adding another layer of dynamic. Further, I really just find it grating when singers employ that mid-range, whiney, hardcore-inspired scream. But that’s my own taste. Bringing things back to the musical side, the riffs, moreover, the melodies found in the lead work were very pleasing. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if this were an instrumental record, I would be singing a very different tune about it. That said, I would definitely suggest you give this record a chance. INVENT, ANIMATE may not change your life or outlook on metal, but it will keep things lively and spirited.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Courier”, “Moon Phase”, “Luna”
WRITTEN BY FRENCH CHEESE