Most would say Invent, Animate is America’s own Northlane, and the comparison isn’t unwarranted. Both bands are melodic and ambient, Ben English’s vocals resembles Adrian Fitipaldes’ (Original Northlane Vocalist) vocal style and they both share a similar writing approach as well. Does this mean that Stillworld is just a Northlane clone in disguise? Absolutely not.
Invent, Animate’s sophomore release, Stillworld, exceeds expectations and delivers an amazing experience. The singles released so far (“White Wolf,” “Darkbloom” and “Celestial Floods“) were simply a taste of what the album has to offer, but the remaining tracks truly show off Invent, Animate’s writing skills and talent. Track after track, the album soon becomes a journey rather than just an album to play through. Each song has its own unique twist to it, while also keeping with the bands’ melodic metalcore vibe. There is a true sense of balance in every song, whether it’s transitioning from ambient mellowness to vicious and unexpected heaviness, or just the overall mixing of the album. The vocals, guitar, bass and drums all fit and work together as one. Not one overpowers the other and it feels organic which is essential for that melodic feel. This album, as well as their previous Everchanger, does this well and makes the listener almost feel as if, like the album artwork suggests, they are indeed traveling through a forest. The lyrics are very well-written and flow rhythmically which also makes them very catchy. There’s an emotional value to most of the tracks while others offer a tale.
Stillworld is the perfect mix of Heavy and Melodic. There is noticeably more clean singing on this record compared to their previous, yet it does not take away from the heaviness. The cleans add to the catchy and melodic nature of this album while also making the transition into an upcoming breakdown or heavy riff much more satisfying and unexpected. There are also some tracks that just absolutely rip. “Dead Roots” not only has the most vicious intro out of all the tracks on the album, but definitely has one of the best background ambiance I’ve heard in awhile. There’s an indescribable clean guitar backing hidden behind some pure destructive heaviness that will just hit you in every right way. It will literally have you replaying the first 20 seconds of the song over and over again just to hear that drop.
Yet with songs that hit it off right away, there are also tracks like “Agora” that not only start mellow, but maintain a somber vibe throughout. It’s not until that last minute where there’s such an unexpected change in pace that will give you chills that will haunt you until the end. The album closer, “Soul Sleep,” has to be one of the best tracks on the album. Not only does it wrap up the chapter that is Stillworld, but also combines everything I’ve mentioned above perfectly. It not only gives off strong emotions, but when it’s finished you feel complete as if the journey you’ve been on has reached a satisfying conclusion.
Invent, Animate’s Stillworld is an absolute masterpiece. It’s not only a refreshing album in the metalcore genre, but one that sets the bar high for the next melodic band to come. From their creativity, beautifully written and composed lyrics and their masterful transitions, this album does not disappoint. This record not only provokes emotion, but also propels the listener on a journey that they so perfectly painted for listeners. And even with all the comparisons to Northlane, Erra and other bands in the genre, Invent, Animate truly made this release their own and it shows how much work they have put in to making Stillworld.