It feels like only yesterday that we were putting the finishing touches to our third studio album, but today we celebrate 2 years of INVICTA!
Here are some facts about the album that you may not know:
The album was recorded in a few different locations - drums and bass were recorded live together at Liscombe Park Studios in Buckinghamshire with Steve Rispin in the engineer's chair, guitars were overdubbed at Visconti Studios in Kingston with our own Al Beveridge at the helm, and the remaining vocals and keyboards were recorded in Al and Matt's home studios before being sent on to the mixing Midas himself, Mr John Mitchell at Outhouse Studios.
The artwork for "INVICTA" was created by Greek graphics wizard Dmitri "Jim" Tzortzis and promotion was handled by emergent Dutch company, the Mr Bowler Music Agency. The physical copies of the album were also pressed in The Netherlands, and we partnered with Scottish-based company Emu-Bands for the digital distribution.
It's safe to say that "INVICTA" was a multinational effort, conceived thanks to the efforts of many valuable players. The needles in the haystack
30 full songs were demoed for the third HeKz album, and there were a myriad of other unused ideas beyond that.
Some of the unused songs were "The Crucible", "Winged Heels", "Sword & Sceptre" and "Traitor". The latter originally held the position that "Line in the Sand" took in the album's sequence as the mid-album epic.
Speaking of "Line in the Sand" ...
"We should do something that sounds like ..."
For many people, the standout song on "INVICTA" is "Line in the Sand". It occupies a singular space in the HeKz canon - most notably for it's subtle approach, dramatic build and resonant lyric.
But it almost didn't happen.
"Line in the Sand" began life as a off-hand comment at the end of a rehearsal. Most of the songs for the album had already been sketched out, but Al wondered if there might be something missing and posed the question, "wouldn't it be cool to try something a bit like Pink Floyd?"
That was enough to set the wheels in motion - Matt sent Al a sketch of the opening guitar melody, which the latter skilfully crafted into the atmospheric opening you hear on the final track. Tom brought in the haunting and evocative chords for the verse, and Matt came up with the chorus.
The original draft of the song was identical to the version you hear today, but after the second chorus it took a very different route, with a riff more akin to Pantera than "Comfortably Numb." Not convinced with the abrupt change of mood, Al went away and composed the middle section that made the final version of the song. The rest of the band were initially resistant to making the change, but it didn't take long for us to fall in love with the meandering time signatures and cascading melodies of this final piece of the puzzle.
And that's just for starters! What would you like to know about INVICTA, it's creation, the songs that made it and/or anything else?
Just one final thing - to further celebrate this happy day, we're giving you 20% off everything in our online merch store.
Simply use the code invicta20 at checkout to claim your discount. Click here to visit our online store