Review 1368 : Invictus – Unstoppable – English

No rest for Maurizio Iacono.

Known for being the frontman of Kataklysm after having been its bassist, but also Ex Deo‘s vocalist, the musician launches his solo project, called Invictus. Helped by his long time friend Jean-François Dagenais (Kataklysm, Ex Deo) on guitar and bass, but also by producer/composer Christopher Clancy (Mutiny Within, I Legion, Rival Order…) as well as drummer Jeramie Kling (Venom Inc., Inhuman Condition, Ribspreader, Ex Deo, Goregäng…) to give life to Unstoppable, his first album.

The album starts immediately with the jerky rhythm of You Will Know Who I Am, an energetic and catchy track on which we quickly find the frontman’s massive vocals as well as softer parts, like this unexpected clean vocal and melodious leads, just like on Eagles and its surprising intensity. The vocal duet is incredibly powerful, mixing rage and conviction while creating a contrast with massive riffs, then Bleed Me Out will offer more impressive and heady tones. Keyboards offer this epic atmosphere to rather simple but heady riffs, which offers vocals a total freedom as on Exiled, which places more haunting and martial sounds, easily combining with the worked melodies. Get Up comes back to more energetic and motivating sounds with a vindictive speech, echoing Weaponized and its frantic and aggressive rhythmic which draws from Old School roots. We will notice some heady darkness in the choruses as well as melancholy that literally contrasts with the riffs’ violence, then 3656 returns to the catchy sounds which will for sure be effective if the project decides to play live one day. The massive final drives us to Ghost Of My Father and its jerky rhythms which remain anchored in Melodic Death Metal’s most Old School sounds, then Darkest Of Enemies will come to pick from Metalcore for its softer but equally intense choruses. Riffs remain lively and catchy, just like on American Outcast which will soften up a lot to offer heady choruses before going back to pure violence guided by blast and jerky leads. The album will end with Keeping The Wolves At Bay, a last composition which remains in this energetic and catchy mix with softer and melodic sounds, confirming the album’s general feeling.

Maurizio Iacono has been on the scene for thirty years, and he has nothing more to prove with his bands. However, the singer has chosen to go off the beaten track with Invictus, and to offer sometimes more accessible or unexpected sounds, making Unstoppable an incredibly effective album.


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