Early Years is a compilation album by Danish thrash metal act Invocator. The album was released in 1994 by Progress Records. Early Years features all tracks from the band´s two demos Genetic Confusion (1988) and Alterations (1989) plus the Artillery cover The Eternal War and the Dark Angel cover The promise of Agony.
The music style on both demos is fiercely aggressive and pre-dominently fast-paced death/ thrash. Lead vocalist/ guitarist Jacob Hansen has a voice that´s somewhat similar to Miland "Mille" Petrozza from Kreator just to make a comparison that most people can relate to. His delivery is caustic to say the least. The songs from the Genetic Confusion demo can also be compared to how Kreator sounded around 1986 - 1989 allthough Invocator´s style is a bit more technically challenging.
Dark Angel was always the number one influence on the early Invocator releases and that influence is quite obvious on the tracks from the Alterations demo. Breakneck speed, fast screaming solos, tempo changes in spades and songs that certainly don´t follow regular vers/ chorus patterns. On the tracks from Alterations, Invocator gave a taste of how their debut album would sound. Both Occurrence Concealed and The Persistence From Memorial Chasm appear in re-recorded versions on the debut album Excursion Demise (1991) and the Alterations track appear in a re-recorded version as a bonus track. The only track from Alterations that doesn´t appear on Excursion Demise is Pursuit Of A Rising Necessity.
The production is really great sounding considering that these are demo tracks. Powerful and raw. Actually the sound quality is better than many studio albums I´ve listened to.
The two cover tracks were recorded in 1994 and have a much more professional production compared to the older demo tracks. I´m not terribly familiar with the original versions of the songs, but Invocator do exactly what you should do when playing covers. They make the songs their own. I find the Dark Angel to be pretty interesting allthough it´s a bit monotone but that´s also how I remember the original, while the Artillery cover is a bit more simple but also a bit more memorable.
Early Years is a very good compilation album by Invocator, and the quality of the material as well as the sound quality are surprisingly high considering that most of the material were recorded in the late eighties. A 3.5 star rating is warranted. Early Invocator is a must for fans of aggressive death/ thrash.