Band: Revenant (US)
Album: “Prophecies of a Dying World"
Label: Rage/Nuclear Blast
Studio: Quantum Sound
Will Corcoran - Drums
Dave Jengo - Guitar
Tim Scott - Bass
Henry Veggian - Vocals, Guitar
Revenant was an underground death/thrash band that formed back in 1987. After releasing four demos and one single, they recorded “Prophecies of a Dying World," which is their first and only full-length release. This album is full of tempo changes and eerie phrases and melodies, and is quite technical. There are also some progressive elements in the music. I also must point out that the lyrics on this album are pure genius. Most of the songs’ lyrical content is inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft as well.
The use of harmonies on this album really brings the music to a new level. They sound a bit off-key, but they sound pretty eerie which gives the music a dark, haunting edge. The guitar tone is crunchy, but isn’t overtly sludgy where you can’t hear the riffs. The lead work is solid as well. It’s not all wankery and showing off of skills, they fit in with the song just right. No lead or solo on this album sounds out of place.
The drumming on this album is also done nicely. Double bass, of course, really sounds great under those heavy riffs. The fast thrashers on this album aren’t chock full of mindless meatbeats either. Although there is some blasting going on, it doesn’t go on for forever and a day. The drum patterns on the album sound reminiscent of Obituary’s “Cause of Death," just they’re played a lot faster.
Now, back to the lyrics. As I said earlier, they are VERY well written. I also said before that they were influenced by Lovecraft. Now, before making the presumption that they are cheesy just due to the fact that they are “Lovecraftian," take some time to listen to the lyrics.
“I ascend from eternal crypts my purity reinstated
Cleansed of my human faults
I accept the existence to which I am fated."
The excerpt above is taken from the title track of the album. The lyrics sound like they are telling some sort of great legend. It’s quite fascinating to read if you’re into literature and the like.
Sometimes the drumming gets in the way of a riff, most notably when the pace picks up near the beginning of “Ancestral Shadows." The snare drum just overpowers that tremolo riff. A good ear can hear through this problem though. Another problem I have with the record is that some songs just seem to “stop." Other than that, nothing is really wrong with the album.
Fans of death or brutal thrash metal should become acquainted with this album if they haven’t already.
1. Prophecies of A Dying World
2. Ancestral Shadows
5. In The Dark of a Psychic Unknown
6. Asphyxiated Time
7. Distant Time