Invocation – The Mastery Of The Unseen

Rating: 2.5/5
Distributor/label: Iron Bonehead
Released: 2018
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Sense Of Clairvoyance – Bass,
Sense Of Clairaudience – Drums,
Sense Of Premonition – Guitars & Vocals.


1. Ouija (Mystifying Oracle)
2. The Spirit Trumpet


EPs, it has to be said, can be a tricky bastard to cast a critical gaze over at times. The typical length of one is around half that of an album, so it can make life a little more difficult to get into. Just when you thought the going was good and you’ve something to say about proceedings, it’s grunted one last, rolled off and gone to sleep, leaving behind a deep sense of incompleteness and a waft of something unpleasant. That’s not always the case, but it can certainly hinder one’s ability to nitpick, sorry, critique.

Today’s subjects beneath the glare of discourse, are Chile’s INVOCATION with their newest EP “The Mastery Of The Unseen”, and initial impressions are good. It’s a simple offering at the altar of blackened death metal with a meagre two tracks, but both “Ouja (Mystifying Oracle)” and “The Spirit Trumpet” offer a satisfactory spectacle. It’s dark, played with verve, and very atmospheric – think more dusty occult library, dimly lit with candles and a skull or two adorning a few shelves, than that usual black metal imagery of snowy landscapes, fire and claw hands. Neither feel overwrought, nor ill-thought out, but deliver a solid early promise of the things to come from the band.

Even the production is dependable. More often than not, an EP or demo in this genre sounds like arse recorded through a toddler’s sing-a-long microphone, but “The Mastery Of The Unseen” is clear, with enough roughage to give the digestive system a well-deserved workout. Which is why it’s a little disappointing that “The Mastery Of The Unseen” falters somewhat after repeated listens. There’s very little that sticks in the mind beyond the final chords of “The Spirit Trumpet” – it’s not ripping up any trees. How can a genre that prides itself on being exciting and vicious feel quite so safe? Even the guitar tone lacks the bite and incision that’s usually expected; less a Pitbull, and more a gummy Collie.

Yes, there’s a time and a place to innovate, as well as certain paths that shouldn’t be crossed, but it does leave one wanting more from INVOCATION’s latest. Then again, maybe that was the intention: give a hint of what’s to come and leave the listener wanting more. Don’t run away with the idea that “The Mastery Of The Unseen” is a poor release, as it isn’t – it’ll satisfy that craving for murky, malevolent metal without the pomp and serenade, for sure. It just might struggle to rouse some of the more prominent and skeletal library dwellers, though.