Most metal fans are aware that George Kollias is the drummer for technical death metal masters, Nile. He is also a session musician for many other metal bands who employ his drumming talent. Make no mistake, George Kollias is a monster and one of the best drummers on the planet. So a solo album by a drummer? Would it be just an endless drum solo? "Invictus" is not that at all, it is a pure technical death metal album in the spirit of Kollias' main gig, Nile.
The key to this album is that, while there are guest vocalists, George Kollias performs ALL the instruments. Yes the drumming is incredible and very prominent but that is to be expected. And since he is as great as he is, why wouldn't that be the case? He is also excellent on guitar and writes some VERY tasty riffs. The album has some pounding tracks like the title song, "The Passage" and " Shall Rise/Shall Be Dead." But the album also has a very interesting moody atmospheric instrumental called "Apocalypse" which shows that Kollias can really invoke a mood that doesn't rely on ANY drumming at all.
"Invictus" is an album that I think any Nile fan will NEED to own but I think it also could appeal to a broader audience than Nile because it isn't quite as bleak or unrelenting as Nile can be. There's nothing wrong with that but it's nice that Kollias is not trying to copy Nile either. "Invictus" shows that a drummer can be a lot more than a drummer when he has the level of talent of George Kollias!