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The chip oil is only a little stale. - 55%

hells_unicorn, January 2nd, 2018
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, Prime

It's a fairly metal concept, a ballsy leader and his four droogs going out on the town to beat the competition senseless with some low-end grooves and colossal heaviness, or at least that is how Billy Boy In Poison would put it. This collective of Danish tough guys are a bit too tattooed up and fond of facial hair to really pass for the original limey degenerates of A Clock Work Orange that provided the inspiration for their name, but they do attack the overall concept of a sonic beat down with a strong degree of fervency. Subtlety is obviously not high on the priority list for someone who deals in the sort of fist-to-the-face groove meets metalcore punch that put the likes of Lamb Of God and Chimaira in the higher end concert venues a little over a decade ago, but this Danish tag-along outfit goes well into brazen territory with their sophomore effort Invoker, self-awareness of being formulaic to the point of cliche be damned.

That's really the best way to describe the sort of modernity that this band deals in here, cliche, though they tend to carry it decently due to a fairly competent rhythm section and a more death metal-inspired niche that mixes things up a tad more than a typical metalcore act. Things actually open on a surprisingly strong note with "Absolution", which starts off in a raging blast of speed reminiscent of Cannibal Corpse before landing on a more mid-paced thrashing groove. On a similarly good note is the tuneful "Exodus", which brings in a somber Gothenburg vibe in keeping with late 90s In Flames, though dressed up in a more down-tuned and percussive sound that manages to still reminisce of Pantera at a few points. Other fairly strong points include the similarly melodeath tinged "Iron Grip" and the high-speed death/thrashing monstrosity "A Walk On Broken Bones", showcasing a rhythm section that is tight and well realized, and even a few inventive riffs amid the grooves.

The biggest enemy of this album is its tendency to get bogged down after hitting a few good points, often throwing out contrived mid-paced sections and holding on to them a bit too long, and otherwise shying away from emphasizing their more chaotic death metal side too much. A really good example of this is the jagged-edged shorter number "Glaciers", which spends most of its duration listening like a coasting Pantera-homage with Chris Barnes on vocals and will occasionally launch into a blinding rage only to drop off it in a few seconds. "Morcar" takes this same issue and amplifies it further, to the point of coming off like a cheap Six Feet Under imitation. Lacking any guitar solos or other external gimmicks to break up the patches of monotony, not to mention having a vocalist that is competent at that throaty death/thrash shout but not terribly distinctive, these songs just seem to drag on a lot longer than they need to.

For a gang of adventurers out looking for trouble in the big city under the cover of night, their handiwork on Invoker doesn't come off as terribly adventurous. There is a somewhat original idea at work here by taking Lamb Of God's groovy brand of metalcore and putting more of a death metal edge into it, but they fail to real capitalize on that added wrinkle and just sort of go through the motions. That's actually the basic issue with most proponents of modernity in metal, there is too much emphasis on impact-based heaviness and a lack of interest in atmosphere (save the occasional clean ballad sections like the one that kicks off "Exodus") or a sense of build up. It's an album that is just too predictable for its own good, not to mention one that falls into the trap of eschewing the technical aspects of their adopted styles, likely in order to cater to their adopted scene. It hits fairly hard when on point, but it fizzles out about halfway through and then struggles to recover.

Utterly Empty And Devoid of Any Artistry - 0%

felix headbanger, December 29th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, Prime

When a band is playing under the genre of fused groove metal and metalcore, their music is automatically among one of the most listened and favorite materials of trendy mallcore kids and hip brootal fans of the modern metal community. But in my ears, and in the ears of those who understand the true essence of extreme metal, those kinds of music will probably be just one of those painfully boring albums that are monotonous on so many levels regardless of the mainstream commercial success that it is getting from the modern trendoid connoisseurs.

"Invoker", the sophomore full-length release of the Danes metal band Billy Boy in Poison, is exactly the kind of record that scene kids of these days will dig and brag to other people just so others would think they are cool enough to listen to heavy music. With that being said, it automatically makes this album a target for me to analyze and evaluate. And after 44 minutes and 22 seconds of achingly listening to this offering, I found it no different from its modern contemporaries.

Billy Boy in Poison had put out a material that has unconvincing songwriting and unvaried elements with the release of this album. It pretty much is the same with their debut studio record "Watchers". The songs in "Invoker" are as empty as its predecessor, and it is insipid like those of the usual materials swarming the modern mainstream market these days. The music here is pretty much just a more brootal version of Lamb of God, Chimaira, and DevilDriver.

This album is not bringing anything new or innovating to the genre and it is at best a forgettable release. The guitar riffs found here are evidently almost rip-offs of some riffs that we can find in Lamb of God offerings and deathcore releases. The riffs lack aggression and explosion, plus it is mixed up with repetitive and uninterestingly-lame progressions and weak breakdowns. The melodies are also completely awful bad and totally uninspired. I even think that listening to a Lamb of God record is way better than listening to this crap. At least LOG can make normal riffs sound interesting if they try.

As expected, I couldn't even hear the bass section in any of the songs I listened to on the offering. It's inaudibly flat and it doesn't really come through in the album. Now we go to the generic drumming where the listeners are offered with pretty simplistic beats and blasts that even 8-year-old kids in youtube videos can orchestrate. The drum section is really just a course of mid-paced tempo execution with simple drumming patterns that do not evolve into something interesting. Then there's the cliché trendy brootal vocal delivery where it's all just feeble deathcore screams and metalcore barks. Man, vocal executions like the ones found in here are ridiculously hackneyed and it's not even innovative enough to get kudos for being br00tal.

So there you have it, folks! "Invoker" is a fruitless offering that is utterly empty of any creativity. Avoid this album, and stay away from any releases coming from this band, at all cost! Billy Boy in Poison is a band that I recommend you people should stay away from if you want to save your ears from a horrible rape experience. This is an album that best fit the interests of brootal mallcore kids. But if you're one of those 'Everything is equal in metal. Just enjoy the music.' dudes, then go ahead and knock yourself out with this pile of crap.

Real Horrorshow - 50%

Five_Nails, December 4th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, Prime

“Well, well, well, well. If it isn't fat, stinking billygoat Billy-Boy in poison.”

A Danish band clearly enamored with A Clockwork Orange (a book written in just three weeks and forever immortalized on film by Stanley Kubrick), this group of droogs so seamlessly blends into the black-clad gauge-eared breakdown-beaten buffoonery of metal's most corporeal and corporate dystopia that it could be easily mistaken for insincerity. However, the talent that kicks off this quintet's sophomore album shows an artsy attempt at furthering a solid grip on making metalcore just before it drops the ball in this release's mundane midsection.

“Absolution” and “Iron Grip” have gigantic sounds to them. Building and toppling fortresses as they rise to atmospheric pinnacles through the hollow echoes of muddy guitars and crumbling from blasting volleys in mere seconds, a crashing cascade that brings “Iron Grip” to satisfying release. Billy Boy in Poison leads with strength summoning its best efforts but blows its load too early. Prominent and melodic leads endure a laborious pace to heighten the impact of the rhythms and grooves, like in the funerary march of “Morcar” where diminishing notes hang by a thread before being swallowed by the next measure. There is a noticeable proficiency in the songwriting through the first half of this album.

“Come to get one in the yarbles, if you have any yarbles, you eunuch jelly thou.”

“A Walk on Broken Bones” is where this album loses its grip on the ball it had so delicately handled. Noisy and energetic, this song is set to be the sort of aggressive Lamb of God foray into modest metalcore mimicry but the guitars paint a swath of muddy meandering measures over such a by-the-numbers template that it becomes a mess of aggression without any compelling sounds to make it memorable. “A Walk on Broken Bones” is just the first leg of an uninspired journey with few landmarks worthy of a momentary glance but only due to the dullness of the landscape before finally reaching the riches of “Black Gold”.

The mediocrity of these b-sides shows how boundless break beats bonded to the baseless belief that they're building br00tality bores this death metal regular, no matter how much it may make the average pit ninja dangle from a plastic coated orifice flapping off the side of a core clone's cranium. “Exodus” starts smoothly enough with pinches of harmony and humming bass before becoming an average and jerky stomper. Merely a single moment betrays a glimmer of hope as the guitars gloriously glide through their grain to meet a tearing blast beat before being yanked into yet another spastic time change. Eventually “Exodus” bleeds into “Glaciers” and “Glaciers” abruptly crashes into “Mara”. Though “Glaciers” brings a preferable aggression, muddy and repetitive rhythms boast few engaging moments despite slight artistic slivers accentuating the atmosphere of the album. Through a very vocal oriented mix with an abundance of break beating that attempts to sound gigantic and imposing, the grooving deathcore throughout 'Invoker' loses its way in this dangerous territory as the droogs receive a self-inflicted punishment for this tepid traipse into br00tality's badlands.

In typical deathcore fashion, “Black Gold” is Billy Boy in Poison's big finish with an anthemic melody that falls into aggressive verses before returning to its beginning in each chorus. The final return is especially complimented by a robust snare and kick combination. As can be heard in the end of All Shall Perish's “The Last Relapse” or Abigail Williams' “The Departure”, “Black Gold” formulaically fades with a simple sappy melody to further legitimize the artistry and power experienced throughout the endless breakdown centered meat of this album. It's difficult not to be a bit jaded when it comes to listening to a paint-by-numbers deathcore release like 'Invoker'. Like a plethora of bands of Billy Boy in Poison's ilk, this album had a couple of good ideas in it but in no way has enough material to justify a forty-five minute full-length. Unfortunately with Billy Boy in Poison, the band's sophomore album contains merely an EP's worth of ingredients that were stretched too far.

Originally Hosted on “The Pit of the Damned”: