Invocation of Nehek was a metalcore band most known for having Ken Susi, of Unearth fame, as their album's producer. However, with such an association, it may shock some listeners to hear just how little influence this group has taken from the Massachussetts heavyweights. Similar in vein only due to the melodic tendencies and their use of breakdowns, Invocation of Nehek is more similar to The Red Chord's earlier years, with guttural growls, impassioned screams, strangely memorable riffs and rhythms, audible bass, and chaotic yet enticing drumming.
During this album, one is treated to walls of guitar. Though they are never remarkably technical, the riffs and even the breakdowns constructed by Robb Cyr and Steve Pianka are memorable and distinct to each individual song. From the tremolo picked lead throughout "Sever the Leech" to the Gothenburg-inspired melodies in "A Picture's Worth", every guitar line was meticulously crafted to push aside pointless technicality for the sake of memorability. As stated before, even the breakdowns are memorable. Despite the fact that the rhythms may be familiar, the songwriting is careful enough to make every transition into a breakdown segment feel natural and smooth.
Yet, for all the praise the guitarists deserve, it is the drummer, Tom O'Hare, who truly steals the show. The death metal influence is undeniably worn on his sleeve, as he frequently switches from flawless blast beats to inventive fills and cymbal patterns that always complement the ever-changing tempos. His effort to always make his drumming fit seamlessly added a great layer of depth to what easily could have been a bland or one-dimensional performance, given his technical ability.
The vocals of Rob Carpenter could certainly be a divisive component, however. Although he is a talented vocalist, occasionally, his vocal range proves to be a fault. While he typically complements the music pefectly, the moments in which he branches out to explore the lower depths of his range sound a bit out of place. However, despite the odd misstep in placing his lower growls, his range is impeccable. From a shriek higher in pitch than Jacob Bannon's to guttural lows that wouldn't sound out of place on a Vomitory album, Rob certainly proves to be a capable vocalist, even with his clean vocals that solely appear on the track "A Picture's Worth".
The bass lines performed by Tim Leonard are, surprisingly, audible throughout all of the album. Although he doesn't deviate from the groundwork laid out by the guitars often, his playing is more than satisfactory for its purpose: to give the album a low end so often absent in the genre. The instances that Tim tends to show his skill come mostly in the album's cleaner, softer soundscapes. It is in these passages where the bass becomes a focal point due to the sense of groove that supplements the melodious clean sections.
One of the greatest accomplishements of this album is its sense of continuity. Even though every track has its own voice and identity, they still come together to form a complete, cohesive entity. There is never a sense of disconnect, but also never a feeling of uncomforting familiarity. From beginning to end, this album offers a bludgeoning, melodic, and above all, complete metalcore experience.