Invoker: Four Wall Nightmare (2017)

Swiss band INVOKER was formed in 2012, featuring members with past experiences in metal and hardcore bands. Following an initial EP in 2013 and a single in 2014 the band self-released their full length debut “Four Wall Nightmare” in 2017.

This short and concise 10 track album, which clocks in at almost 34 minutes, is a production that explore what one might describe as a modern or contemporary blend of some rather different types of music. Metal is the common denominator though, and while overall style is one on the extreme side of things this is in the context of hardcore to a much greater extent than extreme metal.

The lead vocals is the main and most distinct hardcore element present, with dark, twisted aggressive shouts being the order of the day. Well controlled as far as this vocal style goes, and also with occasional clean backing vocals and a token instance or two of clean lead vocals expanding the premises of the expected ever so slightly. Dark toned and primarily massive guitar riffs, ranging from regular heavy metal to thrash and intense hardcore in specific style, caters quite nicely for the metal aspects of it all, with booming bass and explosive rhythms giving an emphasis to the hard and heavy general characteristics of the music explored. The compositions can get rather intense at times when combined with the aforementioned lead vocals, and most certainly not lacking in aggression.

While these features provides an effective but rather dark and grim contrast in themselves, Invoker also adds in a liberal amount of textures of a different nature altogether, namely light toned textures and nervous guitar motifs with a clear and distinct post-rock touch to them, occasionally dipping over to a harder edged, post-metal oriented variety of the same. These nervous and occasionally ethereal details creates a compelling contrast throughout, at least for those who tend to favor light and elegant instrument details paired off with dark, majestic and aggressive ones. Quite a few of the songs actually start out in a careful, delicate manner prior to adding in the metal and hardcore aesthetics, and a fair few times the more aggressive vocals are combined with these gentler instrument details as well, to good effect at that.

Personally I found this band most intriguing on the one occasion where all the dramatic elements were removed, surprisingly enough, on the short and bittersweet ballad Idyll. Perhaps due to the subject matter covered on this song, a difficult subject presented in a very easy to understand manner. Angst and anxiety being key words in this specific context.

Post hardcore and melodic metalcore are two of the descriptions Invoker use about their music, and while my opinion is that the former is more appropriate than the latter, both of them combined should give a fairly good indication about the type of music explored on this album. If you tend to fancy music described in this specific dual manner, chances are very good that this is a production you will enjoy.

My rating: 8/10

Track list:
Slave; Waste; Lost; Alone; Glass; Haunt Me; Deathwish; Idyll; Asleep; Awake

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