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    The Master Alchemist ( 2009 )
    Follow The Smoke / Conjure War / Alchemy / Spells Of Deception / Rainbows / Cursed Treasure / Kings / Moongazer / Invasion / Evil Forest / Six Red Wizards / Chaos & The Ancient Night

    Invasion are a three-piece from London featuring a guitar player with a three-stringed guitar, a female drummer and an out-there soulstress for an unconventional twist on your usual kind of metal vocalist. Invasion have been often described as a hurried-up Black Sabbath in terms of guitar riffs - the drums are fairly primitive yet absolutely poundingly impressive and the wail of singer Chan Marshall is unique in this context. With lyrics about demons, goblins and magic, Invasion are a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale metal scene. 'The Master Alchemist' lasts for around twenty-two minutes yet acheives enough during that time that if it ran any longer we'd be talking pure wastage. Invasion don't do wastage, it seems.

    The album was recorded live in London's famously analogue 'Toerag' studios and if I do have a complaint it's with regards to the production and recording quality. The occasional effects, eg, phasing left to right etc is absolutely fine yet one struggles to escape the cheapness of the recording - it takes away from the heaviness apparent in these twelve musical settings. Well, not so much settings as twelve only slightly different, albeit always catchy, guitar riffs. The main hook for 'Rainbows' for example is about three words repeated over and over again as crunchy riffs are repeated furiously and speedily. 'Cursed Treasure' has a riff worthy of Black Sabbath themselves, albeit three times faster, naturally.

    It's this mid-section of 'The Master Alchemist' that does really shine, although at twenty one minutes in total and coming across like a well sequenced live set there's no excuse not to listen to all of it from start to finish. In short, 'The Master Alchemist' is an absolute blast. The Invasion may be the type of band that inevitably run out of riffs after two or three albums but we're not looking that far ahead just now. For now, it's a delight to listen to music so simple, so pure in intent and also, so enjoyable.

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    this page last updated 06/12/09

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