Invictus - Black Heart

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Limb Music Products
Catalog Number: LMB 65462
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:21:00

Quark 7. Ever heard of them? Coincidentally, I have and they were a band that played progressive metal with a tinge of power metal and their album Once Upon A Crime was a good album that was lacking in production. Quark 7, by design or destiny, transformed themselves into this band, Invictus, who now appear on the LMP label with their new album Black Heart.

Put simply, Invictus play catchy, melodic power metal in the vain of many European bands, but similar to a band like Dream Evil, they play their unoriginal metal with such enthusiasm and precision that the album just stands head and shoulders above many other bands. Hence, Black Heart is an uncomplicated album played with passion and emotion; a healthy, straight ahead power metal album.

The band comes alive with the vocal harmonies in the choruses with some really flamboyant song-writing to match the fervour of the musicians. The song-writing is infectious and whilst there are similarities between songs (at times they ALMOST falter with tracks too similar), they manage to ride the wave of unoriginality and produce quality music. Another area where Invictus forge ahead is with the guitar/keyboard interplay which was created by Nicolas Acard (b) and Mickael Fitrzyk (g) with the keyboards performed by A. Ribot. Speaking of Fitrzyk, his playing is extremely energetic with solos to match the heavy, although relatively clean, metal music.

Lyrically; just don't ask. Totally weird and directly from the "let's randomly pick some English words and see what happens" book. Try this for starters: "Death is sitting next to me; This red face of the woman that I love more than anything; I can't manage to realise; I fall out of the car and I... I throw up." Just bizarre. But when they have such catchy songs, who really cares about the lyrics? Not me that's for sure (but I'm sure some of you do).

The weakest part of this album, though, is POSSIBLY the vocals. I write that capitalised because Frederic Glo has a very strong accent which will affect the way some people listen to the album. To me, his potent metal singing is terrific, but he doesn't have the biggest range on him. Think of Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Rock'n'Rolf (Running Wild), Tobi Sammet (Edguy), and Dirk Thurisch (Angel Dust) with Glo's heavy accent adding volumes to this album.

For those interested in comparisons to other bands then I'd look no further than Sinner (for the straight German nature of the metal and their not so high vocals), Sonata Arctica/Nightwish/Stratovarius (for the keyboards), Edguy (for the style of music and for the odd higher vocal attempts), and another French band Nightmare (which is the closest overall comparison).

Unlike (some) other LMP products, Invcitus just manages to stay afloat for the entire 50 minutes. Any longer and the interest would fade quickly but this relatively short album is great to play for an immediate fix of power metal. Simple. Effective. Well worth your money.

Similar To: Nightmare, Gamma Ray, Nightwish

[This review originally appeared June 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Depression, Pt 1 (1:35) / Depression, Pt 2 (3:33) / Whispers (4:23) / Redemption (4:50) / Miracles (5:30) / Burn 7 (4:56) / The Strongest (3:31) / Since The Day (5:46) / Wonderland (4:37) / The Ancestor (4:16) / Car Crash (4:13) / The Choice (4:05)

Nicolas Acard - bass
Mikaël Fitrzyk - guitar
Frederic Glo - vocals
Raphael Leger - drums
Yves Mouchel - keyboards


Aymeric Ribot - keyboards, background vocals
D Feron - background vocals
S Grare - background vocals

Black Heart (2003)
Persecution (2009)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin FR

Added: December 21st 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 806
Language: english


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