INVECTION
"Facet of Aberration"

(Stormspell)

01. Impulsive Violence
02. Invection
03. Drug Justice
04. Derealization
05. Formication
06. Solace in Mediocrity
07. Two Faced Lie
08. As The Locust Starve
09. Broken Silence
10. Noetic Affliction

RATING: 8/10

If 2009 EP "Demented Perception" (Stormspell Records) proved INVECTION to be young, capable fighters that could go multiple rounds with damn near any of the new crop of old school inspired thrashers, then full-length debut "Facet of Aberration" is the one that announces the arrival of the Bay Area brawlers into the worldwide ring with a series of uncontested knockout blows. Not only has the trio of Andrew Kubiak (guitar, vocals), Andy Lindquist (bass, backing vocals), and John Haag (drums, backing vocals) gotten much better as songwriters; they've somehow managed to get even heavier, as in broken teeth and cracked skull heavier.

An in your face, hard as nails recording/mix by Sam Pura (Studio SQ in San Francisco and Pando Studios in Fremont, California) and mastering from the ubiquitous Alan Douches are major contributors to that new level of hardness, but the tighter, better arranged, and more memorable songwriting on this one is all due to the hard work of the band members themselves. That the lineup remains unchanged since we visited "Demented Perception" didn't hurt either, as evidence by a certain chemistry that really comes across when the boys bash and smash their way through these 10 cuts. Most often sounding like SLAYER (or not-really-alternately like DEMIRICOUS) with gang-shouted trad-thrash flavors, first impressions are all about the size of the craters left from an unrelenting attack punctuated with riffs that are big, mean, and nasty, a rhythm section that concurrently pummels with a force most integral, and shouted vocals (ala Tom Araya) from Kubiak who makes up for lack of inflectional variation with an unbelievably pissed off delivery.

It doesn't take long however to realize that the songs stick to the ribs with nearly the same level of effectiveness with which they break 'em. No let ups, no disappointments, and no question about the level jump in composition. The standouts include a grooving slammer called "Drug Justice" (one tough SOB), a skillfully performed tune — Kubiak's guitar work in particular — called "Formication" that shows a newfound sense of melody that does nothing to soften the blows, and a brilliant banger called "Two Faced Lie" that sounds like a mix of HALLOWS EVE (think "Lethal Tendencies") and SLAYER at its most vicious. The sparing use of synth by Kubiak during one part of "Noetic Affliction" — also one notable for the intertwining of melody and malice — is a nice touch. Some guest guitar solos from Justin Sakogawa (WARSCYTHE) sweeten the pot as well.

While there is an expectation that bands get better with each release, very few do it with convincing results, much less those without intentions to change a tried and true style. On "Facet of Aberration", INVECTION can loudly 'n' proudly count themselves as one of those few. A convincing surge of adrenaline for sure, "Facet of Aberration" will lose INVECTION not a single loyalist and should gain them plenty more, at least if there is any justice in the world.

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