Saturday, May 16, 2009

Invocate - Dwellers of the Shade (self-released; 2006)

Random review time, but at least this band deserves actual attention and features members of lots of cool bands! Unfortunately they are also split up now, after just one demo. Anyway, this one is a groovy, hyperfast slam demo (2 songs and an intro) by a Stoke-on-Trent, UK area band called Invocate, though its members are from both the UK and Sweden. This demo was released 3 years ago and absolutely kicks ass if you can stand really hyper drum programming such as later Vomit Remnants or Retch. The slams are catchy and vary from faster slam breakdowns to slower ones with really abrupt yet endearing transitions between them. The vocals are a guttural croak (sometimes a drier inhale sound) with a bit of pig-squeal to them, which is essentially how Uffe functions in his other bands, too. The final breakdown in the first real track merges some dark old-school death metal sounding leadwork and crawling drumming before blasting the crap out of the last 20 seconds, and when they do stuff like this (they also do it on the second track), the instrumentation works a lot and the band is at their most heartfelt, even though their slams are nothing to scoff at either.

The band is kind of an "all-star" project, though none of the bands the guys are from are all that well-known. Members of Crepitation, Stabwound (the mighty Uffe on vocals), and Sarpanitum (among others) participated here, and the sound is strong and brutal. The guitars are a little muted, and the programming is a little too loud and overbearing, but the breakdowns and general songwriting are enough to look past that. Since this is probably very hard to find, I'd recommend finding a copy to download...unless you can find a copy for sale somewhere.

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