Review Summary: Teratogenesis EP brings to the table great components of a death metal release, and more.
While mainstream popularity is not exactly the name of the game for a death metal band, Revocation continues to receive positive feedback from a wide spectrum of metal fans. For me, the reasons are obvious. The music has a lot of character, it's to the point, and the musicians are very talented all around. The fact that the Scion A/V project sponsored this as a free download is a give and take, but it certainly does not seem to have anything to do with what they are laying down on the tracks. Teratogenesis EP contains five songs, with a total listen time of 21:38. In a way, this release does not afford the time to get bored with the music. For that reason, and potential fans should give Chaos Of Forms (their most recent album) a listen.
What this set of songs lacks in time it makes up for in memorable guitar riffs, blazing fast drumming, and highly original material. Teratogenesis EP, does best what most of their music has done thus far. David Davidson's unique style of guitar playing, fusing jazz elements with inventive, heavy-hitting, technical riffs has been a recipe for success. Paired with Phil Dubois-Coyne on drums, the music is as brutal as any metal fan could ask for, without drowning them in a sea of blast beats and dissonant chord structures. Unfortunately the bass is practically irrelevant the majority of the time; undoubtedly the result of dropping founding bassist Anthony Buda for Brett Ramberger. The most disappointing aspect of this EP is that despite adopting a second guitarist, Dan Gargiulo, the music is still driven by a single guitar. The only song that really makes use of rhythm harmonies is The Grip Tightens, and evidence of such is still very minimal. Moving on. As anyone would have noticed, the instruments take a lot of time to show off, which has both its benefits and disadvantages. Having no real lead singer is probably the biggest weakness of the band; however, as far as I know about death metal, the vocals are not too bad. Still, the focus is clearly on the music, which is clearly instrument driven. The result of that has left Revocation in a pretty good place still, and does not seem to have stopped them from laying waste to most other bands in their subgenre when it comes to popularity.
The title track, Teratogenesis, is arguably the best song on the entire album, just ahead of The Grip Tightens. It really embodies the concept of the album, as it should, and brings out a lot of "eww creepy bug thing" emotions. In addition to that, it contains some very solid writing with interesting sections that keep the listeners attention. Songs like Spurn The Outstreched Hand and Bound by Desire showcase a lot of technicality that sums up pretty well what kind of consistency they are capable of putting out. Maniacally Unleashed is by far the weakest track, with only one catchy breakdown section worthy of mention above the other songs.
Overall, this EP is really solid, and deserving of a good rating. Personally I think that it should be a full album given it's quality. As far as the band goes, it is a small step, but definitely in the right direction. What makes this release worthy of it's rating is the combination of an already good set of songs on paper, coupled with good theming, and a vibrant performance on the tracks. Taking into account the things that detract from the music, there is undoubtedly room for improvement. What has my attention at the moment is the potential for what could come in the future from these guys.
Recommended track: Teratogenesis