Reviewed: June 2003
Released: 2003, Limb
I am hoping to get a huge jump on my reviewing for this month so I have decided to get to work early and grab a CD that almost made it into last month’s reviews. Invictus are a French band that has already released 2 CDs under the name Quark 7. Formed in 1996 by guitar player Mikael Fitzyk, Quark 7 recorded their first disc FLY AWAY. As a small act they had no way of reaching a wider audience and the CD disappeared into relative obscurity. In 1999 the band released their sophomore effort called ONCE UPON A CRIME. This album was greeted with much more enthusiasm and the band soon signed a distribution deal with Black Cat. As the band was recording the follow-up ONCE UPON A CRIME they signed a deal with Limb Music and changed their name to Invictus.
The disc that came from their studio efforts is BLACK HEART. My first impression of the CD was that it was more of the same ole some ole powermetal that has been flooding the market for the last 2 years with some of it being of questionable quality. However, after few more listens the CD began to take on a life of its own. Invictus take powermetal and infuse it with a dash of prog and a smidge of orchestral bombast to create a CD that really is an enjoyable listen. “Redemption” is a straightforward double bass blasting rocker that throws in a little twist that grabs the listener at just the point where the song seems to become a powermetal cliché. Vocalist Fredric Glo shines on Miracle as his gravelly voice is a welcome change from the smooth as silk vocalists that infest the melodic metal scene today. One of the catchier tracks on DARK HEART is “The Ancestor”. It is here, on this mid tempo galloper that guitar player Mikael Fitrzyk real lets go and just shreds his guitar to pieces.
I have been spinning this CD quite a lot and Invictus have created a pretty good piece of metal. The music is catchy and even though I don’t agree with the promotional materials that liken the band to Stratovarius and Nightwish I do agree that they fall into the melodic metal category. Originality might not be their greatest trait but Invictus certainly seem to have a bright future ahead of them.
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