Monday, December 5, 2011

Inverted Serenity - Newest Echoes

The Winnipeg metal "scene", so to speak, is actually a rather tight network of friends and acquaintances who appreciate all the combined efforts to bring the best metal to this city. Supporting our local bands is the foundation for future global notoriety, and a lot of bands need to be exposed by anything they can, to be recognized, even in a city of less than a million inhabitants. Winnipeg is the kind of city where everyone knows someone in a band. The music is just everywhere! Maybe that does mean Winnipeg deserves the "cultural capital of Canada" stamp that Winnipeggers often believe is garnered by our high proportion of first nation dwellers.

As I dabble in the art of concert photography, I have gained some attention from metalheads, and now have an exciting new task! Reviewing the newest recordings of some of the freshest metal Winnipeg has to offer. A friend of mine that I met back in July, by the name of Benjamin Deveau, asked me after the Korpiklaani show, to do a write-up on his band's recordings. I couldn't turn down another opportunity to show my skill and appreciation for metal. They won their ten hour studio time from a Battle of The Bands competition and their goal was to record approximately four songs, but there was only enough time to get two done. So how could this be a long write-up? Well, come on! It's brand new! So here goes-

The two songs that are actually of very decent quality are called Scapegoat and Repent or Perish, and were recorded at a studio called Private Ear. The first song Scapegoat strikes me as being an unforgiving song accosting the weak or closed-minded.

"I will not
let you back out of this,
You complain of my different ways,
But your own faults you dismiss"

Pretty much every metalhead can relate to this thinking, and regardless of age and social standing, every person encounters a bigot. Anna's vocal styles most closely resemble Carpathian Full Moon, which is a fairly obscure band, but that's who I immediately think of. Anna also plays the keyboard and seems to be quite the visionary for this group. Scapegoat is a pretty crunchy tune with plenty of headbangability to it. The song itself is well constructed, but not overly technical and has a catching tone to it. I might also add the arbitrary point of saying that any song just over four minutes is really very listenable. Let's be honest, it feels like a marathon listening to something for more than nine or ten minutes, and I feel sort of cheated when a killer track is under three minutes. The sweet spot is really about four and a half, and I can happily say both Scapegoat and Repent or Perish are right around that length.

Repent or Perish is once again written in the first person perspective, which reaches out for the freedom of spirit that I gather most metalheads feel is necassary for expression. Anna pretty much kicks my ass at being the vocalist for a metal band. You can't even tell the vocalist is female, it's seamless and smooth- not to mention well-pronounced! Her presence is really in the track, and I can't help but respect her.

"I have a soul
That doesn’t need an outer source of control!"

This track also features Drew and Tom doing backing vocals that are most notable at the end of the track. No fear, just some pounding metal from a good old basement. This was a very skillfully recorded track with Ben's drum trigger being combined with a mic and a sub-kick to get that clear and consistent thump. The only mixing change I might have made is perhaps turning up either guitar, which are sometimes completely drowned out by the drums, but are generally distinguishable and tasty sounding! Of course I strongly recommend checking out Inverted Serenity, hailing all the way from eastern Manitoba!
In the basement that may have inspired it all

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