This is the fourth album from US industrial black/sludge metal band Invertia.
When I last caught up with Invertia it was on 2014’s Another Scheme of the Wicked, where they played industrial black metal, complete with remixes of the original tracks. Nine years or so later, the band’s music is darker and uglier, yet also laced with hooks and catchy riffs and beats.
Through the Black Bubble is a monster of blackened industrial sludge/doom, one that has learned a great deal from some of the things that can make industrial and sludge metal so catchy and easy to like, assuming you can handle the harshness. I suppose you could describe Invertia’s sound is containing elements of bands such as Godflesh, Red Harvest, and Blut Aus Nord, mixed with the guitar know-how of a sludge act like Ilsa or -(16)-. Add to this dark malevolent growls, (reminiscent to my ears of a deeper Satyricon), and you have a charismatic album that is surprisingly moreish.
The music is rhythmic and easy to slip into. The songs benefit from a range of good riffs that instantly grab the listener, while the drum beats keep you wanting to move. The combination of the two together makes for songs that are enjoyable and engaging. Dark atmosphere is utilised in places to add a greater depth of immersion, but the real story here is the addictive nature of the guitars; sludgy, laced with traces of thrash, and with a Southern feel that sometimes hints at a country influence here and there, they’re remarkably catchy and hook-laden much of the time.
Through the Black Bubble is an interesting and enjoyable album. It’s distinctly underground and raw, yet benefits from some lesser-heard influences in the genre that give it an appeal that’s unusual for such a dark, oppressive style.
Highly recommended for connoisseurs of underground black sludge.
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