Active since 2017 – and with a debut EP titled Burst The Curse to their name (which brings to mind the squeezing of a particularly engorged zit!) – Bavaria’s INVICTUS are preparing to release their first full-length album, Eden, in January 2020.
Described as creating powerful and diverse heavy metal, inspired by the metal heroes of the 80’s, the term ‘diverse’ is a little misleading as Invictus are a straight up speed / power / heavy metal band in the classic mould. Hopes are initially high as Eden possesses a strong enough opening, replete with all the speed metal tropes you’d expect and demand from a song titled ‘The Hammer”, which at least provides ample reason to continue listening. There’s plenty of crunch and fizzle in much that follows but still not enough of that ‘diversity’ to make this album truly stand out from the pack.
Still, highlights are “Through The Storm” which is a typically bombastic affair and the kind of stirring, soaring, anthem perfected by the likes of Dream Evil and “Thought Of An Idea” fair moves at lightning speed and brings to mind early-Helloween.
On the flip side, “Styx” is overly saccharine and hard to swallow, a power ballad lacking in bite and stalls any progress Invictus were making. Of course, this actually provides the diversity we are so obviously craving so, in fairness, you could consider our criticism here overly harsh. Album closer, “Empire”, at least provides a reasonable stab at combining the two facets and, again, recalls the grandeur of the likes of Dream Evil.
Invictus are pretty good when they’re bringing the hammer down, not so convincing when they rein in the power and embrace a more syrupy aesthetic. That aside, Eden is a reasonably effective introduction to a band heavily reliant on the nostalgic sounds of the 80’s for inspiration.
A solid, if unspectacular, debut 6/10