Review Summary: Revocation stay relevant.
Modern day technical death metal tends to disappoint en masse, few bands breaking a discernable mould or bringing a decent hand to the table. Revocation, flattening the competition in a rather stale scene, aren’t exactly the masters their dreamy fan base like to imagine. Rather, a backdrop of mediocrity displayed by their peers enhances the band’s image, the latter reaping the benefits. Bringing a simple idea of technical, cohesive and riff laden death metal, Revocation are toppling the competition because they’re not trying as hard as possible to be the most technical band to date. While we find other bands like the Faceless being praised for their experimentation and ability to step outside the box, when in reality they’re recycling ideas pioneered by other musicians and trying to pass them off as fresh and their own, Revocation don’t try to delude their audience. Straightforward technical death metal with a heavy thrash undertone, that’s all there is to be found on their newest EP Teratogenesis
, and while it’s not ideal, it seems to be the best on offer right now.
One thing Revocation are always commended for is their guitar work. Their guitarist and vocalist, David Davidson (you can’t make this stuff up), is the driving force behind the music, his fantastic 'shredding' abilities and flair for creating groovy, memorable riffs is one of the main reasons the band stand so high above the crowd. Rather than falling into monotony like some metal albums seem to do, the consistent solos and engaging variety of his playing style keeps you hooked, at least enough to not be bored at any point during the EP’s twenty-one minute run time. As mentioned before, this album isn’t just death metal, but has some serious thrash metal undertones shining through; bringing forth edgy sections of blistering guitar solos and groove-oriented drumbeats among the dissonant death metal riffs and blast beats. The bass seems to live a hideously shadowed life underneath Davidson’s riffs and frequent soloing, but Phil Dubois-Coyne’s drumming manages to keeps its head above water.
Vocally, the band also tend to make the most of their duel genre inflexion, tending to utilize both guttural sounding vocal techniques as well as a more thrash derivative harsh shouting style. David Davidson still on lead vocal duties, with their former vocalist and bassist Anthony Buda out of the band, new bassist Brett Ramberger has taken over Buda vocally too, as well as Dan Gargiulo, whom the band recruited as an extra guitar player for their previous album, Chaos of Forms
. Three vocalists may seem like overkill, but the band use vocals appropriately and effectively on this EP, even with minor sections of clean vocals not outstaying their welcome.
The music here is as tight as ever, the band demonstrating great musicianship and an obvious knack for what they do. While the genre as a whole seems to not be going anywhere new and is crumbling under its own weight, Revocation do a good job of keeping relevant in the modern day metal scene. Their blend of death and thrash metal is something of a beast that shows up all the modern metal bands that shoot aimlessly at the technical and progressive metal cesspool that’s stagnating. If this EP is a any indication of what to come, Revocation’s next album has solid groundwork set out for it and is something to look forward to.