Canada has really been giving us some killer death metal this year. UNBREAKABLE HATRED, DISPLAY OF DECAY, and XUL are just a few of them. Now we can add INVERTED SERENITY, and their new self-released album Integral to that group. But these guys simply aren’t all death metal all the time, no sir. There are some technical elements, some prog (and I mean the GOOD prog, not that shit that sounds like a bunch of hot air!), a pinch of thrash, and a dash of black metal groove. Sound enticing? Because it is!
The band, made up of Drew Peacock (guitar, backing vocals), Benjamin Deveau (drums, backing vocals) Tomás Ingham (bass, lead vocals) and Marc-André Simard (guitar, backing vocals) delivers a very unique style but they do so without once compromising the heaviness or devolving into noise. The best example of this would be my overall favorite track “Everscending”. This is a textbook example of four musicians at the top of their game just going to town on their instruments.
Opener “Yugen” is very cool because I guarantee it will catch your ears in such a way that you think, “Whoa, I need to hear more from this band!” That’s what happened to me, and it’s also how Mini-Amps reacted with his eyes when he put my headphones on (he loves this record, btw!). Two of the more brutal tracks are “Grasp of Impermanence” and “Coeur”. They both have a punishing groove and terrific guitar riffs. “Coeur” also has possibly the best snare drum sound on the disc, and not consequently, it’s another album standout. The real magic on this one takes place around the 1:47 mark. Just listen, and don’t ask questions.
I really had no idea where the title track was going but I was riveted from the opening notes. Chances are you will be, too. “Under One Sky” builds slowly, but when it kicks in it fucking knocks down walls, easy as you please. This is also the first glimpse of *gasp* CLEAN VOCALS!! WHAT??? THAT’S MADNESS!! But seriously, that was an unexpected surprise, and one that only enhances the song. Closer “Elemental Abyss” is all business, Ingham employing his sickest death growls and the band just tearing shit up behind him. Oh, and if you’re looking for the musical equivalent of a rabid wolverine then you’ll find it in “Wrought (Rot)” for sure. Jeeeezus, this one slays!
So, with their second album INVERTED SERENITY have certainly hit the mark. And truth be told I knew these guys would be special before I even got to finish one full song. Just seeing the way Mini-Amps reacted to them I had a feeling they’d be great. He’s never wrong about these things, and that was solidified when I FINALLY got to hear Integral from start to finish hours later. Nice work, gentlemen. Keep it up!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Elemental Abyss”, Wrought (Rot)”, “Everscending”, “Coeur”, “Grasp of Impermanence”