Review Summary: An instrumental better than the original
How does a band cope with losing their vocalist" Well, you just take him right out of the mix. An idea so crazy, it seems illogical, but it actually works here, and to an extent that it actually feels like an intentional instrumental. Invent Animate’s Stillworld
is full of intense riffing, eerie guitar background, and ferocious, double-bass reliant drumming. From start to finish, listeners are blasted with riff after riff, breakdown after breakdown, with no signs of stopping. However, it isn’t the intensity of the album that actually makes this an interesting jam, it’s the originality and uniqueness of the tracks. Unlike most metalcore albums, each track here gives something extra to what was already presenting, leaving the album rather intriguing all the way through without any sort of repetition or bland songwriting.
Now, the surprising factor that makes this album good is the actual comfort of the instrumentals without the need for vocals. Most bands like Periphery and Northlane who include instrumentals of their albums generally have a sound that lacks comfort, often feeling empty without the added vocals in their original form. However, Stillworld
is an exception to this normality. In fact, the lack of vocals only enhances the experience even further. Without the need to focus on lyrics and vocal performance, the intricacies of Invent Animate’s talent really shine through with subtle guitar harmonies that supported the originally prevalent vocals as well as the overall haunting atmosphere ominously hanging about in the background. These subtleties are actually what make up for the lack of vocals. These supporting guitar harmonies and riffs in the background actually provide a story of their own, one of power and fury simply portrayed through the instrumentals.
Speaking of, the instrumental performances on here are superb. The most obvious of the instrumentals are, of course, the guitars. Alternating between clean, reverb-coated verse progressions and brutally distorted djent-esque guitars, the strings bring out an intense side of their metalcore style, while still maintaining a rather relaxing undertone in the verses; well, as relaxing as you can get in those short, momentous time frames. Supporting the axe is a drumming performance that is quite impressive. Ranging from straight up double bass breakdowns to quick snare blasts, the drumming guides the music along through its course, both frantic and chill alike. Of course, all of this is tied together by the absolute beautiful chemistry between the instruments, flowing as a group rather than compartmentalizing each other to its own role. This results in breakdowns of utter madness while still maintaining a tight-groove and fluid sound.
As much as I enjoy the original album, the instrumental is what really did it for me. The sheer talent among each musician is undeniable and is quite a spectacle to view. Of course, this won’t last forever as the band searches for a vocalist. Deep inside, I don’t want it to happen, because Stillworld
is an experience that isn’t only good, but fits the style of the band in an almost impossible, natural way. If you’re a fan of original metalcore instrumentals, this is a must listen for you. The amalgamation of aggression and gentleness has every sounded so beautiful in the genre.