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Music Articles


Heavy Hitters: INVDRS resurrect black metal in Salt Lake City.

By Gavin Sheehan
Posted // April 7,2010 -

You’d think that describing yourselves as the only “true” black metal band in Salt Lake City would get your ass kicked somewhere along the line. But to date, nobody has yet stepped up to prove INVDRS wrong. In fact, over the past couple of years they’ve nearly single-handedly brought local interest back to the genre and reinvigorated the fan base that had given up hope of seeing another dark spawn from Zion.

Forming out of the disintegration of the band Spur in 2006, drummer Gavin Hoffman and guitarist Dave Moss looked to start a new band with a greater metal focus. They picked up bassist Sean McClaugherty and former God’s Iron Tooth singer Phil White, forming the new group based on one successful practice session while White was in town on vacation. The combination worked so well it prompted White to pull up stakes from Long Beach, Calif., to join the group. Playing random gigs and producing a three-track demo, the group quickly gained a following at Burt’s Tiki Lounge as the act to see, prompting interviews and reviews among metal worshippers and a spot on SLUG Magazine’s Localized showcase.

“I’m not one to actually pay attention to that type of thing,” Hoffman says about the fan base they’ve gained. “If we play to five people or if we play to 200, doesn’t matter to me. It’s gonna be the same show, with the same volume and the same intensity, regardless. However, the feedback we have gotten from people has been incredible.”

With momentum behind them, the group made their way into the recording studio with producer Andy Patterson, working on-and-off for a good year—or, as the band described it, “a pain-in-the-ass year.” While feeling some trepidation that they were entering the studio sooner than they were ready, INVDRS pressed on to record the best they could, throwing out the bulk of their material and keeping only what they felt was the finest. To add to the already stressful process, near the end of recording their deal with a local label fell through.

Once Patterson completed the final mix of the album, though, the band landed on its feet, signing with Oregon-based Corruption Recordings and hiring artists Sri Whipple and Damon Smith to create the impressive album art.

Reflecting on the now-finished album, Hoffman says, “As its own entity, I’m very pleased with the finished product. But I think it could have been better, which is a pretty standard way of looking at it, being as picky as we are.”

Exploring the album, Electric Church is damned heavy but somehow powerfully rhythmic. Tracks like “Black Altar” and “Church Burner” carry measures and beats that could give you a heart attack live, with thunderous chords howling from the amp. Throughout the short, eight-song experience, White’s vocals echo throughout every track as if he were gargling nails in his throat, raw emotion pouring into the mic and the singer not caring if he lost his voice mid-session, especially on songs like “Death Dealer” and “Hammers of Hell.” But the entire record bleeds passion. On every song, you hear four guys giving their all, as if nothing else matters but to drag you through the destruction and filth they concoct, leaving you deaf in their wake.

Upon the album’s completion, the band faced a lineup change, as McClaugherty’s life started to change pace due to his job, family and college. Taking his place is Julie Stutznegger (Azon), who has been a major supporter since INVDRS inception, adding a whole new level of enthusiasm and musicianship to the group. You can catch the new lineup at the Electric Church album release party this Saturday.

With Estrago and Prize Country
Burt’s Tiki Lounge
726 S. State
Saturday, April 10
9 p.m., $8

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Post a comment
Posted // April 8,2010 at 11:45

Yeah, I saw the documentary, every painful, depressing, psychotic minute of it. I'm also old enough to remember the news stories of the murder and arson. I've read Rolling Stone since 1970. They covered it. I'm thinking you were what, 10 years old in 1992? I was working at a television news station while you were most likelyn playing and early version of Mario Bros. And I do use Wiki from time to time for names, dates, know, that pesky "journalism stuff."

And the best source I have for this particular story is being a huge fan of "Metalocalypse" in all it's self-important, iconic silliness. Seriously.

"Dark Spawn from Zion"...uh, ok. Wow. Scary and all dark and shit. And the singer screams and belches and farts flames, oooooh, scary!

You lecture me about the difference between INVDRS and Norwegian Black Metal, but call your tunes,"Church Burner" and "Black Altar."

And I unscrew my head every night and stick it in the freezer.

Finally, Gavin, this is your band. You're the drummer. It's like Ted Scheffler opening a restaurant and giving it a tip-top review.

Sounds to me like you are already someone's biggest fan.


Posted // April 9,2010 at 09:25 - Name has nothing to do with Butt F*cker Bryant. It's probably from a nature documentary with Jeff Corwin where he was chasing a big, thick, 8 foot long Mamba through the brush in Africa about 30 miles an hour on foot. He chased the damn thing for half a mile and suddenly, it stopped dead in the dirt, turned and kind of stood straight up, like a flagpole and faced him, like, "Ok, fucker, I'm sick of this...let's dance!" Corwin freaked out and started screaming,"Oh my God! Look at that!" He's facing me down...this is one bad-ass snake! No snake does that!" And I just thought it was cool, that's all. I don't idolize any athlete or media celebrity. Most are a bunch of whiny, tatooed millionaires. Now, that would make a great episode of Metalocalypse! Somehow "accidentally" murdering all our celebrities and professional athletes in a giant, gory industrial accident at a charity concert. I gotta go, got some writing to do.


Posted // April 8,2010 at 19:56 - Well Black Mamba, can't turn that offer down. Wear a diaper, you geezer. They'll make your shit down your leg. INVRDS fucking rule.


Posted // April 8,2010 at 12:04 - i seriously love you. pardon me for sticking up for my band, but the fact of the matter is that, quite apparently, you've never heard our music, and are basing your entire opinion on an article in a weekly publication. if that's how you form your opinions on things, i feel a bit sorry for you. sure, print is a decent way to find out about things, but you should know quite well that just because something finds its way into print, it doesn't necessarily make it true or tell the whole story. as an avid reader of rolling stone, i would be surprised if you weren't aware of that. the fact of the matter is that i didn't write the article, nor did i have anything to do with what was written, other than responding to the writer's questions (none of my answers included the line "dark spawn from zion", just so you're aware), and i'm trying to do my best to promote my band and our release. if'n you don't like it, that's your prerogative, but unwarranted attacks on us based on opinions formed from this specific article are a bit...counterproductive, don't you think? sure, some of the members of my band (myself included) have been influenced by black metal (and black metal doesn't stop and start with the scandinavian stuff), but again, if you were to hear INVDRS, my bet is that the comparisons you'd draw would be minimal, at best. aside from song titles, there's not much we do that most people would consider "black metal"...or at least not rolling stone's definition of such. further, of COURSE i'm going to be a fan of my band - it's my band, for hell's sake. don't you think it'd be a little silly of me to talk shit on something i'm proud of and am trying to share with other people? please... and if i may ask a favor, please don't make assumptions about my age or compare yourself to me simply due to the fact that you were working at a television news station in 1992 (do you want a gold star, cookie, or happy hat for that?) you don't know me, and you have no idea how old i am, let alone what i was doing in 1992, 1985, 2001, or yesterday. please, continue with your well-formed and well-thought-out attacks - it's quite entertaining. and you're on the guest list for the show on saturday. you can even have my drink tickets.