Metal solo albums can range from the sublime (Ihsahn) to the ridiculous (Halford’s Xmas songs record, anyone?). So it’s pleasing that Nile drummer George Kollias has adroitly managed to avoid blotting his copybook here.
He may have helped himself by sticking to stylistically safe territory; Invictus should be familiar to anyone who’s heard his main band, even if the technicality is less spectacular, the Eastern melodic twang both more prominent and more tuneful and the brutality more batter-and-bruise than level-small-cities.
Think Behemoth more to do with legends of violent destruction than spiritual power and you’re not far off. It’s not quite as good as that sounds, but it’s not so far away to stop this being a diverting listen – just one that probably isn’t going to get a huge number of spins.
The songwriting is a tad too segmented and the riffs not quite memorable enough to be truly gripping, but there’s atmosphere in spades./o:p