When it comes to metal with a message, there’s not many bands as violently ferocious as Invertia. The Boston duo has been attempting to tear down the system for a good while now; our very own Madam X even lauded their sophomore offering for its intense brutality. Now Invertia has returned with The Biddings of Tyrants. This third entry to the band’s discography is no less critical of societies various dilemmas, but does it live up to its predecessor? Well, if you’ve enjoyed Invertia‘s unique blend of blackened, industrialized insanity in the past, you’ll more than likely enjoy it now. The Biddings of Tyrants is largely more of the same.
The Biddings opens up with “Another Big Brother,” which works as an both an introduction and a blueprint to Invertia‘s brand of industrial death. After a short electronic prelude, abrasive riffage and furious double kick barrage the listener in a large scale assault on the ear drums. Vocalist/Guitarist Dave Coppola’s low, raspy growls add an additional layer of density before a sampled speaker breaks through the wall of sound, warning us to speak for ourselves lest our rights be trampled to the ground. This pattern is repeated throughout the album, with both electronic interludes and prophets of doom making regular appearances in nearly every track. Thankfully, the formula is a good one and Invertia is successfully able to leverage these elements into songs that are vicious, entertaining and bold, both in message and in style.
Religion. Terrorism. Government. Nothing lies beyond Invertia‘s cynical gaze, and The Biddings of Tyrants takes the bands message and shoves it down your throat with little regard for your comfort or well being. Yet for all its frenzied pessimism, the album as a whole feels rather luke-warm. Individually, the tracks are ruthless and enjoyable, but when taken together the appeal is lessened. Here we have a band that’s discussing some real heady shit, but it never feels like their message is all that important to them. Instead, I get the impression the critiques are a means to an end, giving Invertia an excuse to be as extreme as possible. The Bidding of Tyrants is also strikingly similar to Invertia‘s previous material. Every song on the album could easily be mistaken as a cut from the band’s earlier works, and once again this leaves me feeling as though the album lacks a purpose. Each track lacks individuality, redecorating the same formula of machine gun riffage, double blast beats and death metal growls just enough to make it semi-unique. In the end, I’m left with some great songs but not a great album, and I’d rather just grab my favorite cuts and throw them into a playlist than listen to the record in its entirety.
It’s a good thing then that The Bidding of Tyrants has some pretty stellar cuts. “Scatter” lives up to its name by being absolutely mosh inducing, while “Thetan Hop’s” calculated repetitiveness drones the listener into a near trance. While I would take a real drummer nine times out of ten, Tim Winson does a suitable job of programming the percussion. The drums actually lend a sense of robotic style to many of the songs that might not be as effective with a biological counterpart. The mix fits the music perfectly, ensuring the guitar tone is just rough enough and the lower end is always audible. The Bidding of Tyrants is a technical triumph overall, and the sharp playing by the duo is what holds this album together.
Invertia isn’t afraid to speak their mind, and so it’s a little disappointing that The Biddings of Tyrants feels more like an exercise in brutality than a real stab at the issues plaguing our society. This duo writes some very entertaining industrialized metal, but I’m not sold on The Biddings of Tyrants. Some more variety, a focused goal and a pinch of thought to the album as a whole would do wonders for Invertia. Here’s hoping they have us marching on the Capitol right at their side with the next one.