Release Date: August 6, 2013
2013! We have just lived through half of this infamous year and we have been gifted with a number of ground-breaking heavy metal records. Ardent metalheads have experienced total turbulent music from eminent bands like Voivod, Suffocation, Soilwork, Hypocrisy, Sodom, Dark Tranquillity, Satan, Tesseract, Black Sabbath, Orphaned Land; and now we get a fierce album from the tech death/thrash giants, Revocation.
Being a technical metal freak, I always felt that Revocation‘s previous E.P Teratogenesis was right up there with Mutant‘s Laserdrome as a record making me think all is not lost for technical thrash just yet. And to some extent on this self-titled new album Revocation, right from start to finish there is nothing but fully functional technical metal. Personally, I feel it’s fairly rare to find a band at the thrash end of the extreme metal spectrum this switched on to making great classy songs as well as showing off the shredding and fast-tempo neck-breakers, but Revocation tread this path blindfolded, skipping and singing.
Tracks like “Arch Fiend”, “Fracked” and “Spastice” are all about grooves, grooves, and more flakkin’ grooves! You can easily hear the technical guitar playing style of frontman David Davidson from all the fretboard wizardry he employs. There are moments in this album where the songs start off with an attention-grabbing series of epic drum beats by Phil Dubois-Coyne that steadily increase in volume and eventually culminate into a frantic bombardment of energetic riffs by David and Dan Gargiulo. In fact, this comes very close to taking you to the realm that comprises of maturity and growth of a band, as it is very rare that a band successfully executes their experimentation especially when it comes to such a magnitude. For instance, an atmospheric introduction in the form of the first 33 seconds of opening track, “The Hive” is something which they have not done earlier. No doubt it sets the tone for the album.
But as the record progresses towards the later half, they began to sound too straightforwardly thrashy and lack the intricate melodiousness which is present in the first section of the album. Additionally the lyrics on the album have no theme at all. It looks like David has written them just for the heck of it. I remember reading one of his interviews where he mentioned he just writes lyrics based on the vibe he gets from the song. An avid listener would surely appreciate this album even more if the lyrical concepts were taken care of, rather than shooting random lines.
But keeping the lyrics and straightforward thrashy nature aside, Revocation overflows with erratic changes from the endearing jazz fills to Davidson’s majestic growls, yet, pertaining to their technical death/thrash metal sound. They have demonstrated an amazing ability for modern technical death metal firmly implanted in the thrash genre, and oozing ability for musical diversity and freshness.
One of the most important factors which is going to make this a memorable Revocation album is the series of searing solos, rapid tempo changes and fast transitions between riffing and insanely brutal solos which surpasses what they have done on their previous releases. And not to forget the amalgamation of riffs, jazzy interludes and solos. For instance there is an epic jazzy interlude towards the mid-section of “Arch Fiend” followed by a jaw breaking solo toward the end. Also, the first 35 seconds of “Invidious” has an unexpected yet interesting mixture of bad-ass riffs. And if that’s not enough, what follows is a crazy jazz solo. Additionally It must be noted that few of the songs in this album are connected in such a way that when one song ends, the next one starts with the same note and vibe, but as each and every song progresses you feel like rising from your seat and moshing around. The fierce and reckless riffs which, most often turn into blood-rushing grooves take you down to the netherworld of viciousness.
To conclude, I must say this album surely grabs attention with uncompromising laser-guided precision on every masterly track, with guitar interplay and rhythm sections tighter than a nun’s bum. This record is also for those metalheads who are always on a lookout for something different and unique to amaze them when it comes to intense riffs and solos.