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“Excursion Demise” is by far the fasted album ever recorded in my opinion. So how did Invocator follow up their thrashing debut? A solid kind of thrashy album called “Weave the Apocalypse”. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy this album, but I just have one question: what the hell happened?
This album is still one of my regular listens, but compared to “Excursion Demise” it doesn’t sound like the same band. A LOT of the speed is gone, the vocals aren’t even close, and it has a much heavier, thicker production.
As far as speed goes, some of the songs still deliver. “Desert Sands”, “Doomed to Be”, “Lost at Birth”, and “Breed of Sin” are probably the fastest songs on here. Even they have their mid-paced sections in them. Another quality this album possesses is what some people might refer to now as “core” elements. These are all not bad. Although the breakdown in “Doomed to Be” could easily be karate-moshed to, it's after it’s done the thrash comes back and destroys the rest of the song in a good way.
The production is a step-up from the debut. The guitars are much heavier, the drums aren’t as thin sounding, the bass is still kind of weak, and the vocals are just….odd. In “Excursion Demise”, he went for a death metal raspy kind of voice that sounded very unique to me. In this, he’s kind of just yelling. I still enjoy it but it took me a while to embrace it. The music definitely makes up for the vocals.
I would give it a much higher rating, but there are just too many fillers. The last 3 songs are completely forgettable and contribute nothing to the album.
If you liked “Excursion Demise”, you might like this. I say that with a lot of uncertainty because it took me a while to like it. I would still recommend it.
Best tracks: “Desert Sands”, “Doomed to Be”, “Lost at Birth”, and “Through the Nether to the Sun”.
I'll admit I did start drooling when I first heard samples of this because of the Exhorderish Guitar tone but having listened to it properly I realised. It's just another band who has fell into the trap of listening to Pantera and going starry eyed. A complete groove out after the Atheist tinted death thrash of "Excursion Demise" and like post Cowboys Pantera, half the time this bores you to tears, the other half makes you want to pull your hair out in irritation.
I'm actually doing an injustice to Pantera saying that because in places this gets so fucking annoying it actually makes me pine for Far Beyond Driven and The Great Southern Trendkill, It's that bad. The songwriting here is just nonexistent & most of the songs just go nowhere. They drift, they meander, they plod, they sometimes dart away but they never compel you to "bang your head against the stage like you never did before" with any decent riffs. They've kept small traces of Atheist influence in small 10 and 20 seconds patches on some of the songs with technical riff shifts and jazzy licks but there mainly just there to stop you nodding off and to try and prove they're "Technical".
The vocals are the most grating thing here tho. My god this guy annoys me so much, I can't listen to this anymore because I start plotting a horrible murder for payback. He actually sounded pretty decent on "Excursion Demise" with maniacal death vocals but here his style is so fucking monotone and braindead. He rants in a Phil Anselmo/Kyle Thomas style with no variation and I'm taking 25 points of the total score because of them.
The drumming is one of the few redeeming factors here as the guy basically does the best job he can, considering he's on a groove album, and it's well produced. He only ever catches fire and plays fast for about 2 to 3 minutes of the whole album. The guitar tone does impress as well, slightly with it's exhorder bulk to it but the distortion is watered down to groove monkey status.
Apart from the fact every track sounds pretty much the same I'd say the least worst and remotely interesting are "Desert Sands", "From My Skull It Rains" & "Breed of Sin". The fact the themes and overall mix is so weird and unknown, in a similar way to Demilich's "Nespithe" might intrigue some of you, but for me it's just another thing nipping away at my skin.
This band never had much ideas up their sleeve. More evidence is the way they completely ripped off Agent Steel's "It's Not What You Think" on the title track to their last album "Through The Flesh To The Soul". Your research of this band should begin and end with "Excursion Demise".
Invocator creates a thrash masterpiece with the album, but beware, this is a different form of thrash than you're used to, and may be too "groovey" for some. Having said that, if you like Exhorder, Pantera, or Metallica, you'll probably find this album to be great. Indeed, it blows the shit out of anything that Pantera has ever done.
So what do we get? What makes this album such a great thing? Answer: nearly everything. When I say that, keep in mind that the vocals are pretty strange and take some getting used to (hence, I had to suptract a point). Other than that, I can't find a single weak moment on this album (except parts of "Condition Critical" which apart from having a good riff in the beginning, goes onto kind of a political/hardcore-ish thing, especially the chorus--another point lost).
Guitars are similar to the Metallica tone, but much more varied. I can't really describe what's going on here, because Invocator uses a varitety of shifting, semi-groovy riffs, but at times you'll also hear some Morbid Angel and Suffocation influences a few times. Also, in "Desert Sands," there's a weird little tremolo solo that reminds me of Pestilence. There's a lot of twisted riffing going on as well, with serpentine tones and a few squeals.
The drumming on here is really good, coming from Per M. Jensen (yeah, he's played with the Haunted and Nightrage). This man clearly knows how to use fills and the occasional strange beat very effectively. His playing is incredibly tight and powerful, which brings to mind Gar Samuelson (on Peace Sells...)and Dave Lombardo.
If you like Exhorder's Slaughter In The Vatican, but can deal with a more streamlined and less-rude version, this will be up your alley. It's a total about face from their first album, but Weave the Apocalypse is something that is totally different and a true testament to Invocator's mastery of heavy riffing.
Well, this album may not be as "unrelenting" as it's predecessor, but it's certainly packed with enough diverse riffs to keep even the most casual fan of this genre interested. Full on Tech-Thrash ala Coroner is hard to come by on "Weave The Apocalypse", The songs are more akin to the likes of a more "groove" oriented Atheist. Conventional Thrash is evenly dispersed throughout 30 second to 1 minute intervals, with the occasional breakdown.
Invocator's mission here was not to astound the listener with blazing speed, but to make them really LISTEN. There's so much on this record to be taken in, I found it hard to do after only a few spins. Certain songs did stick out initially as favorites, though. Two of them being "Doomed To Be" and "Land Of Misery"
The clear and stout production really helps out the cause of this album tremendously, as every note by every instrument can be heard perfectly without any sort of interference from others. However, if I had to say one instrument was dominant in the mix, it would be the drums. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, because the drums are beaten with masterful precision by.... Well, if I could find their names anywhere in the CD insert, I'd tell you. Whoever he is, he's very good. If you really care that much, look on the biography page.
Bottom line: Great album, just a bit long at over 50 minutes.