Artist: Invincible Force
Album: Satan Rebellion Metal
Label: Dark Descent Records
Short, sweet, and grave desecrating aptly describes the debut full-length of these Chilean monsters of the underground, Invincible Force. Satan Rebellion Metal, out on Dark Descent Records, demonstrates a proper execution of metal evolution. They take inspiration from plenty of their forefathers without overly relying on old school standbys for their overall sound. It does not simply take surface level tropes of black, death and thrash metal—Invincible Force incorporates specific, nuanced approaches in order to concoct a much fresher feeling release, with a mixture of pleasant surprises and occasional letdowns.
Although hard to identify on first listen, Satan Rebellion Metal is aptly described as a black/thrash record with clear inspiration from the Nifelheim camp, but calling it pure black/thrash feels incorrect. Invincible Force takes a lot of cues from Teutonic thrash, especially Kreator; they also pay tribute to their South American ancestors Sarcofago and Sepultura. It’s certainly got that aggressive drive that comes with black/thrash, but it utilizes a riff structure that rings true of mid-80s death metal, piling on thrashy riffs one after another that don’t feel overtly repetitive. Finally, it has that skeleton-pummeling Pleasure to Kill feel—it’s not afraid to crush listeners with speed but it refuses to rely on tempo and instead focuses on what tempo can do.
The whole album has a very demonic feel, with every track seeping with Satanic might and power. Every section and song feels incredibly deliberate and purposeful. This album was clearly not meant to ride complacently on metal’s shoulders, it was meant to stand on its own. The short, concentrated structures of these songs assure the listener that no space was wasted penning these songs.
The difficulty may lie in this album’s invocation of old school tropes. While the framework, ideology, and innovation are all there, the riffs and tracks don’t feel groundbreaking. In the moment, the album feels glorious and really like something that could have a serious impact. When it ends, however, one has to strain to remember songs and riffs that stood out. There’s nothing that immediately jumps out to anyone and suggests it’s something that want to play over and over again and get the rhythm so down that they’re banging their head to it in their sleep. Upon subsequent listens, the parts that stick out the most sometimes seem like mere echoes of past greats, and in some ways it seems as though the concept of the album outpaced the actual execution of it all.
At twenty-four minutes, this album hardly feels like a waste of one’s time, and honestly, structural innovation like this is the kind of stuff that will keep metal going into the future. Satan Rebellion Metal may not cause commotion or stop the underground presses, but it’s a valued effort from Invincible Force that demonstrates potential for growth and indicates that there are bands out there committed to breaking down at least some barriers.