The rise of USBM’s popularity the last few years comes in many shades of gray and black within the once tiny genre. The voice of creativity of coming from new bands, both underground and mainstream has been impressive to say the least. Of course, all of these developments may cause some “trues” to lose their shit, and scoff at such a notion that any deviation from the original harshness from the fjords of the hinterlands deserves a lambasting. Hailing from New England, INVERTIA doesn’t conform to what black metal should sound like. Rather, they have created a clever blend of contrasting styles that seem to work together, irregardless of what the hipster purists out their may think.
INVERTIA call themselves Oppressive Industrial Black Metal, and they are most certainly not fucking around. After the wash of discordant sounds that opens up “Facility of The Feeble”, your ears are assaulted with music that lives up to the lofty self-proclamation. Careening, angular guitar riffs are matched with a scowling gravely rasp and straight up blasting drums. The song is over the top in every way that is good, if you are a fan of this music. “All Systems Fail” comes next and sounds like the bastard child of GORGOROTH (old) and some of the better lo-fi jaunts AL JOURGENSON has taken us on for the last thirty odd years with his different groups. The chorus is one of the more grim, yet undeniably catchy ones I have heard in a long time. There is a definite current of industrial flavor throughout these tracks, but never so much that it obscures the honesty of the writing. The band is also capable of some great sonic detours in the form of musiq-concrete, effects and sound-scape type stuff that really works well in context. The band is led jointly by DAvE, responsible for the “aNaLoG” part of the sound and TiM, who manages the ‘DiGiTaL’ side. Tracks such as “A Glowing of Gray” and “Situation Manipulator” are the true synergy of these two elements. “Crimson” is my favorite track on this album and the riffs are just technically insane and rough sounding all at once. The guitar solo is brief, but outstanding too. “Embracing the Grim” has a really old school BM tone and urgency, but also a thread of modernity to it. As if BLAKE JUDD had never discovered psychedelia, or IHSAHNhad forgotten he knew prog rock. “Beasts of Prey” is another strong track that almost has an old-school death metal feel to it, but then the chaos kicks in brings you back to the center of kvltness. Other top tracks are the harsh “Perpetual Alert”, and the trippy epic finale, “Blasphemy Be My Name”.
INVERTIA is definitely a band we’ll be keeping an eye on to see what they come up with next. You can buy their music from the band in many places, such as their Bandcamp page.
Metal Army caught up with experimental Black Metal Industrialists INVERTIA by email recently for an interview. Collaborators Dave and Tim discussed the making of their new album, the meaning of the band name, how the group works together, the current USBM scene and much more.
MA: Tell us about the making of your new album?
We recorded it at Tim’s studio, it took about a year to write & record it. It was easy. First we did the click track, then we did the guitar, then another guitar.
MA: What does “Invertia” mean?
The everyday struggle, putting up with it, people’s bullshit, subtext when they talk & stupid fucking opinions. More or less.
MA: What is “Oppressive Industrial Black Metal”, and what about mixing these two sub-genres together made you think it would work so well?
When Dave first heard GODFLESH he didn’t know what industrial was but he knew that was the type of music that he wanted to make. Tim was heavily influenced by early 80′s synth bands like HUMAN LEAGUE & DEVO, then later NINE INCH NAILS and MINISTRY, that’s where he was coming from. It makes sense that we both naturally arrived at Industrial Black Metal when we first began collaborating. After we finished, a friend called it oppressive so we used that.
MA: Your press notes refer to Dave as ‘Analog’ and Tim as ‘Digital’. What do these two designations actually mean and how do you typically write together?
When you listen to it, all of the analog sounds that you hear (AKA guitars & vocals) that’s Dave, and all of the keyboards, drums & samples are Tim. The writing process is fairly equal as we talk about what the song needs, what works & doesn’t work & how it should be arranged etc. Dave typically writes the lyrics once the song is completely recorded.
MA: Who or what are some of the bands’ top influences?
TONS of influences but here’s a few names: KILLING JOKE, MYSTICUM, later DODHEIMSGARD, ANAAL NATHRAKH, DARKTHRONE, THE RESIDENTS, BLACK SABBATH. GEORGE CARLIN & WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS influenced the lyrics. Also, The new Sonic Youth album is pretty good.
MA: I see that your album is available on Bandcamp for streaming and purchase. Do you think websites like Bandcamp hurt or help an independent artist share his music?
Share or Sell? It definitely helps an artist to share their music, selling music is a completely different story. That said, we love the exposure, we didn’t get into this for the money, its a total loss!
MA: Speaking mainly about the current USBM scene, why do you think there are so many unique and experimental bands right now?
The core of it, the Norwegian & Swedish bands, is over. So now, like any other genre, it’s going to progress. There’s true black metal, so why wouldn’t their also be untrue black metal? That’s what happens with music, it evolves and blends and a hybrid forms from it, and every once in a while something completely new comes from it, and a new genre is formed. That’s when a band will become influential & becomes like a family tree. That’s not us, but it happens. It’s evolution.
MA: Any plans for the band to play live or tour again?