It is always interesting to review an album after having seen most of the reviews that various other publications have provided, such as Invent, Animate’s debut album Everchanger. It seems that the reviewers either hate the album or love the album, with most reviewers leaning to the latter option. There does not seem to be very many people who consider the album to be straddling the gap between being good or bad, but view it as rather mediocre.
Why would they though? There is so much about Everchanger that is brilliant. First off, the production of the album is utterly brilliant with Brian Hood(MyChildren, MyBride, Being As An Ocean) and Jesse Cash the guitarist/vocalist for progressive metalcore juggernauts ERRA providing their expertise. This production duo results in the creation of an utter titan of an album. The drums crush everything in their path, while the guitar riffs are frantic bursts of unbridled energy that give the album a rough hardcore appearance. The vocals frantically switch between guttural growls, rasping screams and soaring clean vocals. This creates a rather unique dynamic on the album and also adds to the ferocious energy of the band.
From the opening track,“Sol”, you are greeted with a young band that has done their homework regarding the current metalcore scene. By doing this homework, they managed to avoid the pitfall that nearly every metalcore band makes on their debut album: trying to create an album that is utterly brutal, yet incredibly melodic at the same time. Invent, Animate rather opt for delicately balancing the brutal elements and the melodic elements. “Nocturne: Lost Faith”, “Courier”, and “Luna” reflect this balance with their changes between melodic clean vocals and guitar riffs, to rasping unclean and blistering guitar riffs.
Perhaps by avoiding this pitfall, the band encountered an entirely different pitfall, which happened to be removing an air of originality from their music. Yes, the lyrics are done in the typical clichéd metalcore style, but that is not what I am referring to. Instead, I am referring to how the band has managed to borrow elements from various metalcore titans. The band seems to draw influences from the same formulas that Architects and Parkway Drive, where they sacrifice a large amount of clean vocals for more emotive sounding rasping harsh vocals to under-pin the guttural growled and screamed vocals. Invent, Animate tend to favour this formula but when they do turn to clean vocals, they take a leaf out another Australian band’s book, Dream On, Dreamer, who also suddenly switch from unclean vocals to piercingly melodic clean vocals.
The thing about Invent, Animate’s Everchanger is that it failed to excite me. There were expectations that I held from what I had read prior to listening to the album, and the album just did not live up to them. If anything, the album is mediocre at the most, yet still rather enjoyable if you want a good album to mosh to. The problem with it is that the album is not very memorable, or that is perhaps because the album had the misfortune of being released close to the release date of the new The Color Morale album.