There’s something about the call of psycho-bombastic, industrialized black metal shunning the hypocrisy of cult religions that arouses my curiosity. To give you a bit of background, Invertia are in the process of launching their second full-length release via ultra-angry, techno geeks Ohm Resistance Records. I haven’t yet been able to track down their first release, so immersing myself in the dark call of Another Scheme of the Wicked was my first encounter with guitarist/vocalist Dave Coppola and drummer/programmer Tim Winson. It seems their handiwork consists of a mix of five brand new assaults followed by five remixes of the same material from the likes of Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh and Jesu), End.user (The Blood of Heroes), and Submerged (Method of Defiance and The Blood of Heroes). And much to my delight, I discovered Invertia‘s hybrid brand of American metal has the familiar droning mechanic of Author & Punisher melded with the industrial destruction of Uncle Al’s Ministry, neatly seated within the slow, dark glory of Godflesh. Intrigued?
Another Scheme for the Wicked is one of those albums where you wish you had the physical copy in your hands, opening up the jewel case, unfolding layer upon layer of fine art, while their monster punches its fist through your delicate chest. Shvlfce is the New York based artist behind this deadly piece. He has a distinctive signature, with an inclination towards combining architectural, geometric design with more fluid surreal images and for Invertia he created quite the mutant!
“The Sidewinding” starts off with an oppressive instrumental scream and a sustaining heavy tread that drags itself along like you would expect a funeral doom outfit, not the industrial metallers we have here. Things pick up around 30-seconds in when chaos hits and you’re berated with dark suffocating vocals, schizophrenic assaulting drum-work and guitars welded together and blasting over-the-top ecclesiastical sounding bites telling you to “expect evil,” “hate,” “love the devil” and “hail Satan” among other things. The track doesn’t stay contained to any one style or tempo with it building up in intensity and speed and then pulling back to near silence. Once all the chaos wears off, “life is absurd and meaningless” is the slow brooding message left ringing in your ears.
Death-like vocals are the centrepiece behind the stop-start machine-gun assault of “Cross Eyed Christ.” There’s nothing comfortable or nice about this track, it’s just a brutal rough force of oppression from start to finish. There’s not much change between “Cross Eyed Christ” and its followers, “Void of Community” and “Hourglass Without Sand,” both are just as bombastic and distressing instrumentally. The vocal style changes here again, with “Void of Community” hurling blackened splutterings that make my skin crawl and “Hourglass Without Sand” shifting between a slightly cleaner growl and a weird kind of gurgle that’s dark as hell.
My favourite parts are the ridiculously slow, trudging interludes that remind me of a deeper, darker, more hellish kind of Loss in “Hourglass Without Sand.” “They’re Everywhere” is the big closer! It can only be described as a brutal sonic assault. The instrumentation and vocals are so intermingled with distortion and noise that you’re assaulted over and over again to the point of exhaustion. “Jesus Christ will set you free” blasts through the devilish screams, but they don’t feel at all like a lifeline, taking on an edge of ridicule for your hellish predicament.
The first five tracks created by Invertia stand solidly and heavily on their own. The following five, although bearing the same track titles, are altered to the point where they become completely different animals. “The Sidewinding” ends up with a more distinctly addictive, surreal atmosphere, “Cross Eyed Christ” and “Hourglass Without Sand” get very electronic and “Void of Community” and “They’re Everywhere” take on a cold mechanical lumbering feel. Again the vocals shift between a variety of styles keeping things off kilter and interesting. On the up side if you’re not a keen fan any of the particular collaborators that Invertia chose to work with on these tracks, the changes in style will be a plus.
While I enjoy the two very distinct halves of Another Scheme of the Wicked, I don’t enjoy having them on the same album. This would have been a less disjointed offering had the album been released on two disks. Outside of this small gripe, Another Scheme of the Wicked is a solid second release by this up and coming duo.