Known for their adept mastery of their instruments, Revocation has, for the past few years, been at the forefront of technical death metal along with the galloping thrash that fuels their fire and every other off-the-wall influence the band seeks to inject into their music. The band’s last couple of albums have been stellar at worse, game changing at best and with their self-titled fourth album, the boys (new bassist Brett Bamberger included) deliver what we’ve all come to slowly realize we can’t live without Revocation doing what they do best.
Revocation, the album, kicks this off with the raucous “The Hive,” a song that slings nasty riffage and pummeling rhythms like the band just doesn’t give a fuck. The thing that I really enjoy about this band is that throughout all of their technical prowess, not once do you feel left out. Too often do “technical” bands play for themselves and not include the listener. Revocation know how to show off to their fullest while still writing catchy songs that have plenty of bludgeoning groove to hook and the right amount of wizardry to astound. From the off-kilter time signatures to swirling riffs, this song sets the tone quickly and violently.
“Scattering the Flock” and “Archfiend” carry a solid chugging rhythm through their individual offerings while the former embraces a little Lamb Of God and the latter goes about it’s business of snapping necks and nonchalantly as possible well as calmly as one can manage while whipping around your cranium at high rates of speed. “Archfiend” also brings one of the more impressive, soulful leads on the album, as well as some nicely timed acoustic guitar.”Numbing Agent” forgoes any pretense and is simply hell-bent on caving in your skull with a brutalizing aural attack with burly rhythms and vicious riffage.
“Fracked“ wastes no time as it launches into a series of riffs that remind some more of Lamb of God perhaps I shouldn’t have watched the documentary regarding the Richmond VA’s remastering of As the Palace Burns before hitting this review. There’s a solid amount of rumble to this song as the guys pile-drive their way into the Earth’s core. And that solo! Holy shit! “The Gift You Gave” may start off slowly with a bit of mournful ambiance, but it’s a full on, bludgeoning affair when things get rolling as that melancholy feel slithers throughout the song.
There be banjo on the next track as “Invidious” gets a little wacky before diving head first into a freshly polished wood chipper set to slice and dice. This is a full sounding song as layers of guitar and dynamic vocals bring a good amount of depth to the album. It’s a pretty damn solid song. The four minute long instrumental “Spastic” encompasses all of the sounds and noodley doodley the band has delivered with their discography. It’s an impressively written song with a ton going on. The opener to “Entombed by Wealth” kicks ass and album closer does a decent enough job of wrapping up Revocation in a neat package.
When you’ve already pushed the boundaries of metal to its limits what else as a band can you do with your latest full-length offering? Quite simply, try and keep pace with your own legacy. Revocation have managed to do just that without retreading familiar territory so much that we can see their path as it unfolds before us. They’ve managed to continue their evolution with influences from outside of metal while still embracing what has worked well for them. The result is an album that enthralls and entertains.