*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*
This month’s State is South Carolina!
So we move on to week two of our State of the Art: South Carolina series. I again went on a tear for something distinctive since I had the time to look for something special after Hurricane Matthew (that bastard!); something that I could really sink my teeth into. Those that have followed my writing know that I like just about everything, but have a particular taste for complex, guitar base Technical Metal of any sort, often with female vocalists. Well this week, I chose the former, so I present you with the Ultra–Tech Metal shredders in Invoking the Abstract.
Invoking the Abstract came to life early in 2010 by guitarists Tyler Ivey and Evan Garner who began writing material which eventually evolved into their first EP that was released in 2012. Shortly thereafter they expanded the band with the addition of percussionist Ryan Meadows and bass player Joseph Carrabotta who has since been replaced by Daniel Johnson. By 2015 they released a self titled EP containing Deathcore vocals and included: “The Great Glimpse”, “Mad Incarnate”, “Enter Xiabalba” and “Dark Hand”. With the success of the EP came the opportunity to record their first, full length instrumental CD entitled Aural Kaliedescopes at The Basement Recording Studios with Jamie King of Between the Buried and Me, The Contortionist and Scale the Summit fame. That’s right, the same studio my band, Everthorne from last week recorded their recent album (this was purely coincidental since I base my choice of bands to cover on what I like and found Invoking the Abstract independent of the label or studio). I am consistent, if nothing else I guess. This album was released on September 30th on the Unique Leader Record label with PR support from CB Entertainment, Earsplit PR, which are all also a firsts for Invoking the Summit. Tracks on their spectacular debut album include “Locus”, “Requiem”, “Sensory Substitution”, “Aural Kaliedoscopes”, “The Summit”, “Voiles”, “Mandatory Metamorphasis”, “Necropolis”, “Afterglow Eclipse”, “Celestial Born”, “Disharmonic Design”; all of which are mesmerizing.
According to their online sources, Invoking the Abstract are “just four dudes who love to shred, while taking every step to evolve musically and progress to the next plateau.” who “pride themselves on utilizing various approaches to rhythm, phrasing, and playing styles that conveys a sound which traverses genres. Their broad style, containing both soaring guitar solos and groovy mixed meters, creates a blend of catchy hooks accompanied by churning technical metal.” Yeah. Whatever. This is an enormous understatement and being pretty humble in my opinion, because after listening to them for an extended period of time for the last two days, most bands would have run out of steam at the pace Invoking the Abstract have progressed. Dropping themselves into the category of Progressive/Technical Shred Metal, they point to The Faceless, Animals As Leaders, Necrophagist, Beneath The Massacre, Between the Buried and Me and Veil of Maya as their major influences. I can definitely see where all of these bands fall into Invoking the Abstract’s sound but they are definitely blazing a path for themselves and heading where their creative musings take them instead of trying to emulate anyone else. Their sound is brilliantly complex, with an ever-changing tempo, played at a rate the defies human capabilities. Their 2012 was really good, but Invoking the Abstract have pulled out all the stops for Aural Kaliedoscopes. Not only have the vocals been dropped, but the complex has now crossed into the realm of the absurd. Being as tight as they are at the breakneck speeds that they play and still be able to remain melodically focused would seem to be an impossible feat for lesser musicians, but Invoking the Abstract manage to pull everything together with shear talent and song writing genius. Don’t think that the “shred” that they elude to in describing their sound is just for the guitarists either. The bass and drums keep pace and even trade lead lines throughout instead of being relegated to strictly rhythm instruments. This tends to be a tough nut to crack and often creates an unpleasant dissonance that creates a feeling of chaos as all of the instruments compete individually for the spotlight lead. Invoking the Abstract never stray anywhere near this line. Everything is planned and executed with laser focused precision creating an organic and completely cohesive wall of thick, intelligent and emotionally stimulating music done like only they could do. I can only think of a handful of bands that have pulled this off with such polish. Invoking the Abstract is just ridiculously good. If you like really technical Metal, you NEED to check this band out!