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Kollias, George: Invictus

Nile's powerhouse drummer George Kollias is the latest extreme metal performer to try his hand at a solo release, and George's debut album is titled Invictus. Invictus is a destructive death metal recording and also rather the memorable one with an epic/cinematic feel that is very effective. Fans of George's astonishing drumming won't be disappointed as Invictus sure has that and much more. So we know George is a most capable drummer and he's also the percussionist on Invictus, but there is more to George's musical abilities than many will be aware of. As Invictus is very much the majority work of one George Kollias as he also wrote all the music and lyrics plus being quite the multi-instrumentalist George capably took care of most of the other instruments and even the vocals.

While sure Invictus has a good slice of complexity it's not taken to the same level of say a Nile release, so you could say that Invictus is a widely accessible death metal album with more obvious hooks. Some tracks will be familiar to anyone who has viewed George's instructional DVDs Intense Metal Drumming 1 and 2 as they were originally composed for those releases. The album opens with the cinematic sounds of "Echoes of Divinity" that leads us to the title track "Invictus" as the tempo builds and the drums hit warp speed this one packs an almighty punch. Pummelling drumming and darkened riffs feature on"The Passage", "Aeons of Burning Galaxies" is such a catchy and potent track with George's vocals sounding so very wicked. Blasting away with the hostile and epic "Shall Rise/Shall Be Dead" a song that includes a guitar solo by George Emmanuel of Rotting Christ, and there are other guest guitarists that have contributed solos to this album including his Nile band mates. I can't get enough volume on the titanic "Voices" where it's a case of the louder the better and it's sounds so cool with those extra inclusions in the background. Of course George is known for his amazing speed and precision playing on the kit and you will find that on Invictus but not every song is pushing the speed limits like instrumental "Apocalypse" where double kicks are replaced by the sounds of percussion and we find a synth solo by Firewind's Bob Katsionis. There are four alternate versions of album tracks on the edition I ordered which are really worth tracking down, including different vocalists on two.

You wouldn't call Invictus a ground-breaking album but then again how many really are ? Invictus is one for those who like death metal that is intense yet so very infectious as George Kollia's shows he's not just one of metal's finest drummers.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track listing
1. Echoes of Divinity
2. Invictus
3. The Passage
4. Aeons of Burning Galaxies
5. Shall Rise/Shall Be Dead
6. Voices
7. Treasures of Nemesis
8. Apocalypse
9. Epitaph
10. Through Empty Eyes of Light
11. Buried under the Flames
Bonus Tracks
12. Aeons of Burning Galaxies (R. Cooley Shred Version)
13. Voices (E. Karadimas Vox Version)
14. Epitaph (Drum Track)
15. Apocalypse (A. Trapalis Violin Version)

Added: June 6th 2015
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Artist's Website
Hits: 1906
Language: english

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Kollias, George: Invictus
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-06-06 06:45:19
My Score:

Superhuman drummer George Kollias has certainly cemented his legacy with the great work he has done over the years with the legendary death metal act Nile, but he shows even more of his wide array of skills on his new solo release Invictus. Here the drum virtuoso also contributes guitar, bass, and vocals, and with some special guests to fill in the occasional lead guitar solo, Kollias has put together a very special album filled with epic death metal might. Fans of Nile or Immolation will certainly revel in the massive, often times technical riffing and relentless drumming found throughout the album; just listen to the glorious, intense "The Passage", or the absolutely crushing "Aeons of Burning Galaxies", which has some of the most massive riffs on the album. Kollias' growls are very well done throughout as well, letting us all know he's the 'total package'.

Impressive on so many levels, Invictus most importantly shows off Kollias' ridiculous drum skills, which of course are off the charts amazing here, but by no means is this purely a drum showcase. George Kollias is more than formidable on guitar, lends a mighty growl, and has written some very fine death metal tunes that stack up with some of the best the genre has to offer. Well done!

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