"Invicta" (Despotz Records; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I had heard of Skarlett Riot but hadn't listened to any of their earlier stuff so I was pleased when "Invicta" came across my desk and I got the chance to give it a listen.

"Invicta" is, for the most part, pretty fast-paced hard rock/heavy metal tracks with buoyant verses and choruses, thanks mostly to the vocal style of Chloe "Skarlett" Drinkwater . Chloe has one of those voices that brings every song up just a notch, with her epic clean sound and its demonic counterpart, balanced perfectly throughout each song, along with roaring male backing vocals.  The music is big and guitar-driven, with a rhythm section that keeps things rolling along at a breakneck pace (although never too excessive, which fits with the band's overall atmosphere).

My favorite tracks were "To The Flames" with its machine-gun punch, and the powerfully poignant "Cut the Ties." "Into Pieces" is a nice break to the heavier stuff, and gives Chloe an opportunity to show a gentler, more emotional side.

Bottom line is that there isn't a disappointing track on "Invicta" and it's a strong album from a strong band whose future looks bright.

Skarlett Riot is: Chloe "Skarlett" Drinkwater - Vocals; Tim Chambers - Bass; Luke Olgesby - Drums; Danny Oglesby - Guitars/Backing Vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.