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Invictus - 2009 Persecution

ARTIST: Invictus
ALBUM: Persecution
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Frederic Glo - vocals * Mikael Fitrzyk - guitars, production * Nicolas Acard - bass * Raphael Leger - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Face To Face Part I * 02 Kill The Dogs * 03 Silence Of Death * 04 Agony Of War * 05 Spiral * 06 Face To Face Part II * 07 Face To Face Part III * 08 The Eclipse Of The World * 09 See You Black * 10 Demons * 11 Rosy Rose * 12 The Angels (live) - bonus track



BackgroundThere's a bit of similarity between these French melodic metallers Invictus, and their countrymen Alkeymst, who have been featured here at GD often over the years. Both have their origins spanning back to around the mid 90's, both released full blown albums during 2003 on major labels, and both have returned to the scene during 2008/2009 within nine months of each other. Nothwithstanding the music which is typical 'Nuclear Blast' styled power metal from a few years ago. Invictus have a clean metallic sound in the mould of bands like Edguy, Van Den Plas and a few of those Finnish bands from around the 1997-2003 era. 'Persecution' is this band's fourth album, though it was their third 'Black Heart' released on Limb Music Products (home to GD faves Pagans Mind) which bought them to a wider audience. Not quite sure what they've been doing in ther intervening six years (having a life probably.. lol), but Invictus roll with the punches, maintain their heavy sound, and update it courtesy of all the new digital technology out there now. Now signed to UK label Escape Music, the band find themselves back in the spotlight, though kind of unusual for Escape to be changing their roster to melodic metal acts, as Invictus are the kind of band you'd normally see signed to AFM Records or similar labels thereof.

The Songs
Whatever the case, this is hard-hitting stuff, with a penchant for double bass kick drums working overtime among the flurry of guitar riffs. Musically, these guys are pretty tight, with a darker edge reflecting the lyrical content which as you can see from the track listing is not all about happiness and light. Guitarist Michael Firtzyk really does add some punch with his razor sharp rhythm work which is prevalent all the way through. On occasion, we'll hear some acoustic guitar thrown in, adding colour and depth to a couple of the songs which require it. Good examples include 'Agony Of War' which is a heartfelt acoustic track raking the coals over the spoils of war, the dropping of the atomic bomb a point in question. 'Face To Face' part III also include the use of acoustic elements and harmony vocals to tenderise the lyrics of death and war. But mostly, the guitars are on red alert with hard riffs filling out the spaces on tracks such as 'Kill The Dogs', 'Silence Of Death' and 'See You Back'. There's a mix of styles on 'Spiral', shifting between industrial sounding metal and a more basic style a la At Vance.

In Summary
Mostly this is a consistently good album. It has a tried and true metal sound, but admittedly there are a ton of other bands out there competing in the same territory so it needs to take something exceptional to stand out. I haven't got my finger on the pulse of what is truly happening in the melodic metal scene circa 2009. There seems to be so many metal releases out there.. it's quite overwhelming. By releasing 'Persecution' away from the typical metal labels, Invictus has ensured that they can be seen and heard without having to compete with their metallic contemporaries. Quite a good move really, whether by accident or design. If your tastes very from Finnish bands such as Stratovarius to Germans Edguy, At Vance etc, then you might want to add these Gallic contenders to your metal list.

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