Invictra – Chaos Theory (Self-Released)Monday, 6th July 2020
Appeasing the groove-laden modern thrash/heavy metal legions of the underground through 2018’s full-length The World Game (previously covered by this scribe on this very site), expectations are high for Invictra on the follow-up release Chaos Theory. Choosing to concentrate on a smaller set of songs, this five-song EP proves these musicians are gaining comfort in their preferred style while dialing in key deeper hooks and melodies for long-term retention. After a few spins it’s abundantly clear that this western New York outfit aim squarely for the jugular, attack mode at the ready while using finesse and proper mechanics/ musicianship to flesh out formidable material that rivals benchmarks of the modern thrash and groove-metal scene.
The dual guitar rhythm action plus superior lead break work from Alex Dunn and Josh Zalar gives proper weight to the fluid chord progressions and subsequent shred flashes – check out “The Adversary” for some solid Megadeth-like runs against a bit of Trivium/Machine Head-like stomp and circumstance. Digging deeper into a bit of slower, mid-tempo southern-like groove for the opening riff to “Psycho’s Vindication” (gaining favor through wah-wah effect enhancement) – this track allows the group to develop some classic metal traits, the bass gaining a slight spotlight during instrumental sections while the fierce Zalar vocal roar compliments the musical hooks perfectly (think a clearer Phil Anselmo against Robb Flynn for reference sake). Metallica and Overkill-maniacs will be bobbing heads incessantly to the thick rhythms of “Four” – featuring impressive bluesy lead runs and diverse drumming transitions from Dylan Thompson that keep this 5:38 instrumental entertaining for the branches that develop from the main riffs. The title track closes the EP in grand style – Maiden-esque twin harmonies abound against some heads down power/thrash parts while the mix of fierce roars and clean melodies provide another dynamic stretch for the band.
In just under thirty minutes, Chaos Theory proves Invictra belong in the label conversation for those who love modern thrash with solid musicianship and plenty of strong, swirling hooks that metalheads crave and savor.