Review Summary: An enjoyable but ultimately forgettable addition to Invent, Animate's discography.
Progressive metal is one of the more difficult genres to define, particularly because it has a tendency to overlap into other subgenres of metal. From death to black to power to thrash to metalcore, prog will always find a way to fit in, for better or worse. Thus, we come to the year 2014, and a new progressive metal movement has been standing strong for several years now. You’ve got newer bands like Periphery and Tesseract dominating regional sales, while giants such as Dream Theater and Gorguts are still managing to deliver impressive work. Sadly, there’s practically no room for the little fish to move up the food chain. Many end up as generic copycats of The Contortionist or Veil of Maya, and others simply fail to gain enough recognition to stay afloat. Nonetheless, every few years, a gem is salvaged from the rocks of “djent”. A small piece of coal that survived under enormous amounts of stress to become a diamond. Is Texas-based metalcore band Invent, Animate’s new album Everchanger
this hidden diamond among the crevices? Well, the short answer is no, but if you can go into Everchanger
with the right attitude and lower expectations, it’s a fairly strong piece of iron at least.
Vocally speaking, you’ve got your standard hardcore/metalcore shouting, your death growls, and some higher pitched screams every now and then. However, the clean singing and gang vocals are executed surprisingly well, particularly on “Naturehold” and “Luna”. Unfortunately, this doesn’t quite make up for rather subpar lyrical work, with lines such as An innocent night can’t hear as you cry/”What the fuck am I missing?”/And as you fall and sink to the ground some loved ones die/Some loved ones fight to survive
. This probably won’t come as too much of a grievance for those with enough experience in the genre to look past mopey, generic lyrics, but may be somewhat bothersome to others. However, the instrumental work is surprisingly good, with chugging breakdowns (i.e. “The Desperate Are Calm”, “Moon Phase”) being used fairly liberally alongside crunchy riffs and thunderous drums. The leads also shine in tracks such as “Forest Haven”, and the production job is excellent, with a structured and concise yet somewhat distorted approach.
However, the one fatal flaw that Everchanger
falls victim to is lack of originality. You’re not going to find anything on here that you haven’t already heard, and chances are that it’s been done better. And this doesn’t by any means make Everchanger
a bad album. It’s still undeniably well-executed and an enjoyable listen. But Invent, Animate simply haven’t quite found their niche yet. They’re still stuck using the same old bag of tricks as every other “Sumeriancore” band in the scene. And that’s ultimately what causes them to fall short of their full potential. So, if you’re looking for a nice, new album to go through for a couple listens before another major label release from a bigger band, Everchanger
is a comfortable fit for the time being. But if you want something to truly blow you away, then this will ultimately end up as yet another disappointment.