Back in 2018 Valparaíso, Chile based ritualistic and maddeningly hypnotic black/death metal band Invocation made it clear that there is no spark, no glimmer, no shining glint of hope (nor flicker of flame) on the sacrificial blade — All is in service to the dark’s hypnoses so, my own suggestion of “a thick directional flow of suffocating flames” in describing their attack on the spiraling abysmal realm created by their ‘The Mastery of the Unseen‘ 7″ EP was entirely uncalled for, it was not pyroclastic but eternally chasmic in intent. The trio embody death’s magick, nihil, and leviathan’s gaping maw spread in sickening delight… waiting in void. Invocation are yet deserving of their station as one of the most black-blazingly heavy blasts of death’s liquid curse out of Chile today and this point is mightily reinforced by their latest, most accomplished, and extended piece to date. ‘Attunement to Death’ is a mini-album, or a well-filled half hour 12″ EP that further stakes this true occult band’s claim upon their own realm of the dark.
Spin after spin the interruption, or punctuation of heaving breathing on the minute intro track “Oppression” was the only major flaw observable within the listening experience put forth by this masterful display of brutality amidst cavernous occult atmospherics. The gasp in the ear is too human, a cheap little piece of fearful ASMR exasperation that’d drive me up the wall. I only emphasize this moment because it slashes the immersion provided by the mastery displayed on the other 29 minutes of this fine mini-album. That is to suggest that I’d spend hours at a time sitting with ‘Attunement to Death’ for its serpentine rhythms, occult spiritual psychedelia, and inviting cavernous presence only breaking from that focus long enough to click ‘skip’ on the intro.
‘Attunement to Death’ would still hold great power without its notable atmospheric death metal production for the sake of the daemonic ladders of riffs that descend unholy as the spin progresses. The intended effect is strengthened as Invocation reach for a level of dark haze not too far from what Portuguese black/death act Summon aimed for with their full-length. Still, Invocation have deep roots in classic death and death/thrash metal rhythms that now stir deeper blackened death metal transcendence. It won’t necessarily sound too far beyond the average occult death metal band in theory but, ‘Attunement to Death’ rips a path toward greater darkness that I cannot help but follow. These are mantras of destruction, not the hypnotic tickle at the nape of the neck from the dark lord but truly malicious spells from invokers, students of possession that’d offer irresponsibly infectious lures of trailing, expanding and bounding rhythms. On wails their pungi, with treacherous intent as the breathe escapes the body with each spin.
Dialing back the side-effects of dark entrancement the inescapable reality is that Invocation have grown exponentially in strength in creation of these dark rituals. Not only are they viably riff-heavy and satiating for the pure death metal crowd but these works appear entirely tuned to the incredibly resonant atmospheric space they occur within. It may appear to hold the standard for atmospheric death metal but the thickly woven compositions within offer more depth than their initial roller coaster of movement. I found this record would still call to me for more even after reaching the 20+ listen mark, perhaps most obviously because it flows together with a similar sense of movement and big, nigh psychedelic classic death metal influenced riffs but also for its perfectly digestible length. “The Officiants” and “Divine Transition” are the absolute best pieces Invocation have written to date, I’d highly recommend paying close attention to those songs and likewise highly recommend this fine record as one of the best death metal records released this month.
High recommendation. 4.0/5.0
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