Review Summary: Revocation storm back into action and produce the best album of their career so far. This time round, they'll be unleashing more chaos than ever before.
Revocation have been on a steady rise into the wide world of extreme metal since their formation in 2000, and although their solid, precise fusion of visceral thrash metal and technical death metal hasn't made them as successful as they should have liked, few would argue that they hadn't reached their musical peak on the quite impressive “Chaos of forms” album back in 2011. Nonetheless, the band are back in 2013 to show the world just what their talented chops are capable of, and with the band’s fourth self-titled effort, it sounds as if they’re finally ready to turn more than their own fans’ heads.
Put simply, “Revocation” is exactly what long-time fans of Revocation will be wanting , and more. The album kicks off with an incredibly precise opener in the form of ‘The hive’, a song that is briefly introduced with increasingly disturbing industrial sounds before erupting into arguably the heaviest and most extreme song the band have recorded in their career thus far. Guitars kick into action as violently as a hurricane and the moment frontman David Davidson screams “Signalled by pheromones, the mark of doom’s been placed”, you know you’re in for quite a ride. However, whilst you may be asking yourself whether this is any different to any of the band’s other albums, there’s something that just makes “Revocation” stand out just a little more. This is the band’s excessive use of instrumental experimentation: A musical technique that makes songs such as the rather ambitious ‘Scattering the flock’ and instrumentally beautiful ‘Spastic’ all the more wonderful to listen to whilst at the same time being deafened by the sheer extremities of Davidson’s throat-ripping vocals or Dubois-Coyne’s earth-shattering drum rhythms.
“Revocation” is often stunning not only because it contains a multitude of songs which thankfully turn out to be some of the best tunes in the band’s career, but also because each band member seems to have done a lot of work on each of their respective instruments. Dubois-Coyne comes across as a machine just as strong and powerful as Megatron when thundering through the likes of ‘Entombed by wealth’ and ‘Fracked’, and Gargiulo alongside vocalist David Davidson both work together to lay down the most face-melting of solos in ‘Numbing agents’ and superb closer ‘A visitation’. In fact, the only instrument that seems slightly overshadowed by others is Bramberger’s bass, yet thankfully this doesn't mar the album’s overall quality given that songs as heavy as ‘Archfiend’ and ‘Invidious’ crush speakers everywhere to smithereens.
What “Revocation” really excels at however is how well each song is structured. Take ‘Archfiend’ or ‘Invidious’ for example. Whereas the former begins to come across like a song that is nothing but a purely predictable mish-mash of every metal sub-genre under the sun, it swiftly turns into a much more melodic, atmospheric sound that shows brief flourishes of black metal as Davidson roars like an unholy god from the bowels of hell. The latter is almost like a beautifully produced slice of progressive metal, bringing in not only a brief banjo (yes, you read that right) interlude near the beginning but also twisting and turning wherever it can to disturb the listener’s mind and confuse them so much that they won’t realize they’re listening to the same song anymore. Then there’s the naturally melancholic ‘The gift you gave’, a song that is soft in tone but nonetheless still precise when Davidson and Gargiulo lay down a number of exceedingly melodic solos, and few would argue that the instrumental ‘Spastic’ isn’t one of the best examples of how far the band can go to prove each and every one of their musical talents. The whole album sounds consistently excellent and whilst the band’s last few albums aren't anything short of great, it’s really with this release that Revocation have come up trumps.
You could really moan and groan about the musically similar structures of songs such as ‘Scattering the flock’ or the simpler than usual ‘Numbing agents’, and there are people who will tire of Davidson’s vocals, lacking a bit more variation than is preferred among the more skeptical metal listeners, but there really isn't anything that Revocation’s self-titled effort majorly suffers from. The band have proved in the past that they can whip out surprises when nobody seems to notice, but with this album that particular magic trick is here in spades. Revocation are surely going to succeed as a musical entity if this album is anything to go by, and there’s no reason why any loving fan of extreme metal should miss out. Revocation are back to take on the world, and this album is their key.