• 7/10
    NECRONOMICON - Invictus - 7/10


Total Metal Records
Release date: May 29, 2020

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Necronomicon’s seventh album Invictus opens with a modified excerpt of the great W.B. Yates poem “The Second Coming”. Originally written to describe post-World War One Europe, the oft-quoted poem’s apocalyptic imagery is sadly as apt today as when originally written. Or when Invictus was originally written and recorded for release in 2012; in addition to the new cover art the re-release features one additional song, an acoustic tune called “Possessed Again”, a song that shows off guitarist Glen Shannon’s versatility with a short Flamenco run near the end. Freddy Necronomicon’s vocals for the song are surprisingly fitting as well, an odd break from the screaming assault of the rest of the album.

While an interesting addition to the album, “Possessed Again” isn’t going to bring listeners back to the album, nor is the new cover art. Barring a slate of bonus track or remastering, re-releases of “blink and you missed it” previous releases have to rely on the strength of the songs, and fortunately the songs on Invictus pack a solid wallop. The title cut is a Thrash classic from Freddy’s opening scream, riding a locked-in riff and exceptional clean production into a dark maelstrom of sound. Rik “Roundcat” Charron provides the rhythmic bedrock for Necronomicon’s attack; Marco Lohrenz on bass keeps the energy flowing relentlessly on subsequent tracks “Unleashed” and “Bloody Bastards”. “Thoughts Running Free” begins at a Classic Metal pace before Charron kicks it up a few notches; Necronomic like to keep things lively with alternating tempos, although nearly every cut has an all-out Thrash workout.

“Unconquered” also makes use of a steady escalating build, climbing to an inevitable Thrash clash after a majestic guitar solo. One of the more interesting cuts on the album, “Unconquered” also employs a quiet interlude, layered vocals, and puts Lohrenz’s bass at the forefront of the mix to give the listener a unique experience.

“Upon Black Wings” and “Face To The Wall” are less impressive, although the latter is partially redeemed by the percussive performance of Charron. “Pandora’s Box” is a return to form and features a particularly raw performance from Freddy. “Before The Curtain Falls” opens with strings and whispered vocals and never really gets out of the gate. “Possessed By Evil” returns to Thrash form but the overall effect is muted by an extended dialogue midway through the track that fails to enhance the impact of the song (although the kazoo blast at the end is a nice touch).

Invictus follows the pattern of many modern Metal releases with its powerful opening and uneven second half, but the overall result is inventive and hard-hitting enough to please anyone who missed the album in its initial release.


  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

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