Never one to shy away from new territory, Dennis Lyxzén is about to undertake another path on his musical journey, with the release of INVSN‘s debut self-titled album later this month.
For a name synonymous with one of the most prolific and energizing hardcore bands of our generation [Refused] and my no-bullshit punk favourites, AC4 [R.I.P] – INVSN is certainly a far cry from the angst-riddled, scream-a-thon that won hearts and minds across the globe.
Opener, ‘#61‘ establishes the general feel and journey the album is going to take you on – offering a subtle 80s-inspired melody to kick things off. First taste, and subsequent single, ‘Down In The Shadows‘ is a straight-up, semi-goth synth track that haunts and stirs your subconscious the deeper and darker it goes.
‘The Promise’ builds on the 80s synth pop vibe of the previous tracks, with perhaps the most left-field melody on the album. Completely unexpected, but strangely infectious, the track unveils another layer of the bands core style and technique. However, not to be outdone, ‘God Has Left Us Stranded‘ ultimately follows suit – with a sound bearing a striking similarity to AFI. Lyxzén and Sara Almgren‘s vocals seemingly call out to the listener, drawing you further into their web on intrigue.
The haunting glam weaves itself through the remainder of the album, with ‘Our Blood‘ supplying some superb audio noise. It’s during this track that you are reminded of Lyxzen’s past, with a small teaser of his anthematic screaming during the curious breakdown section of the bridge. The striking contrast between the pop melody and the hardcore screaming is perfectly balanced, and certainly adds to the ambiance of the album overall.
‘It’s All Coming Back’ has an undeniable emotion in its melody, lulling the listener into a warm cocoon of noise that is equal parts enjoyable and heart wrenching at the same time.
By all means, this is a solid debut album from INVSN. The deep shadows and foreboding synths play perfectly off the infectious pop sensibilities, as the emotive and haunting melodies seem to draw on each band members taste and influence. Undoubtedly, it’s important for fans of Lyxzen’s previous work to not look at this as a step away from the hardcore scene, but a reworking of the angst and rage into something that is just as significant and haunting.