By Lane Dent
Invent Animate: Heavener
Mysterious and magical, dark and daring, out of this same Texan soil came the band
Invent Animate who have released their fourth studio album: Heavener. On March 17, this
Earth, the one that Heavener seems to explore beyond, received a masterpiece of gritty
creativity and raw emotional expression. Four tracks stood out to me like support pillars, a
perfectly balanced square of skill and vulnerability. Invent Animate is poetic in its delivery of
truth, lyrical and instrumental; so here are my takes – in artistic, naked and rare form.
Heavener stayed true to its title; I felt as though I was ascending.
“Absence Persistent:” Ambient layers melding cohesively with rhythmically complicated
patterns. Voice with a power rich and robust enough to dominate a cathedral. To conjure an
inexperienced feeling of loss. With this intensity, the emotional intention is transported directly
into our own unconscious feelings. A rageful breakdown coming eagerly early, foaming at the
mouth, cathartic and frustrated.
“Shade Astray:” Not wasting a second with a glorious punch in the face, a strong
technical riff that is proud and serious in its purpose. And when the tantrum cools off-in
tsunami-level waves – and when they join hands with the chaos, the lyrics and musical color
yearn to be heard for their emotion, their sound, not just their noise. Cryptic metaphors of
monoliths, souls, dreams and earth contribute to the cult-like imagery and brand that Invent
Animate has curated.
“False Meridian:” An introduction to the madness with a teasing and bewitching tone,
stretched and bent as the volume dynamics gyrate around. Once the steadiness has been
secured, a solid tempo to headbang to, playful bends decorate the guitar work. A symmetrically
perfect breakdown like gears grinding in their stagnant positions, stuck wanting to move
forward, move on, as the lyrics suggest. The amber moon seems to crush, as does pain, weight,
torment, shadows, consciousness – everything seems to hurt. Grief is a consuming concept in
Invent Animate’s ethereal world.
“Void Surfacing:” Initial ambience pulsing and drawing like heavy breathing. A bold,
fearless beat fills the atmosphere, demanding attention, building and building. Permanent
images of skin, scars, brands and burns set themes of event, healing time and depth. Warm,
fulfilling chord progressions, complete with a resonant hum after every downstroke. Heavenly
wailings, muffled and muted, hide behind soft aspects of clean high notes from the instruments. The buzzing vibration after each palm muted on strings, on computer keyboards, in the air between. A story of regret, anguish and reliving.
With eleven tracks total, themes of death and grief litter the lyricism, but new ideas of
self-acceptance and processing pain appear for the first time in their discography. By including
touching personal stories, these songs pin down the unstable feeling that their musicality
mimics. Somber vocals that flip to powerful screams show the range of emotion that these
stories contain – as well as the range of the vocals. Heavener is Invent Animate’s most genuine
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