Review Summary: Revocation continue treading water.
By all rights, I should like this band more than I do. David Davidson is not only a superbly accomplished musician and band-leader, but also a consummate professional across the board. He can clearly facilitate a healthy chemistry between himself and the musicians he surrounds himself with, as shown by the relatively consistent studio line-up since Revocation's inception and the near total lack of incongruities in their work up until now. Everything these guys put out runs like bespoke clockwork which, in a genre that places such an emphasis on precision and tightness, is about as close to an inherent positive as you're likely to find in metal's critical sphere. I want
to love these guys' music, coming about as close to that as I ever have upon hearing the title-track from their latest album, The Outer Ones
As the opening lick wriggled its way through my ear canals, I could almost feel my pupils dilate as I exclaimed, “maybe the dude from Artificial Brain's been having a little more creative input”. The bouncy guitar-work and liberal use of the diminished and whole-tone scales bring to mind bands like Demilich, while dissonant triads coupled with thrash-y rhythms bear an obvious resemblance to the works of Voivod. Without hesitation, I let this album barge to the front of my “to listen” queue but, upon hearing to the whole thing, I let out a slightly perplexed “hmmph”. The Outer Ones
cannot be knocked as an exhibition of musicianship, and so if you've adored their output thus far, you'll 'most certainly do the same here. However, if you were thinking Revocation were prepared to break the mould a bit, I regret to say you've been duped.
The opening track, “Of Unworldly Origin” – being vaguely oddball thrash that we've heard time and time again from Revocation – is alien in name only. Technically deft and, on occasion, fun little phrases are wrapped up into a serviceable composition, but nothing outside of the surprisingly tactful and melodic solo will leave much of an impression. This theme for the most part continues until the curtains close, notwithstanding some glints of impetus along the way. Some of the X-factor seems to have gone missing at the console, as the overtly dry production saps much of the energy that (I assume) was present when laying down each track. The drumming is dexterous in its performance and crystalline in its presentation, but sounds very flat once everything else around it coalesces. Moreover, though it's nice to actually hear the bass on a modern metal recording, it comes at the expense of the music's viscera and bottom-end.
All of this works to stultify moments that would otherwise feel much more lively, however great they are on their own. There's a funky, clean break in “Blood Atonement” that helps to indelibly set up the ever-impeccable solo; “Ex Nihilio” has some unreal chord voicings that give the track a suitably “spacey” vibe; little melodic flourishes in “Luciferous” invoke the Gothenburg bands of yesteryear, et cetera. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a decent amount of variation among the riffs on here, at least in the context of technical thrash, but nothing else pushes the fold like the aforementioned title-track. That's really the core issue. The Outer Ones
repeatedly teases a deviation in terms of style, only to fall back into the clutches of what is ultimately quite a restrictive genre of music. Revocation's latest album may be competent on all counts but, annoyingly, it purports to be something that it isn't: inspired.
Album Rating: 2.5
Angery birb: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glscq0FW8y0
Stream here: https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/kz575x/revocation-are-searching-for-death-metals-outer-limits
Album Rating: 3.0
woooooooooooo damn, good review
oh and very nice dig
Digging: You and I - The Curtain Falls
Album Rating: 3.5
Excellent review. Still cautiously optimistic for this because I'm a sucker for their style, but the changes between albums have been very minor so this doesn't surprise me at all.
I think they could make something really great if they didn't pump albums out so quickly
Album Rating: 4.0
good review even tho i disagree hard on score. i do agree re: how diff the title track is vs the rest of the album is tho. i was hoping the rest of the album was gonna be more like that one. best track here for sure
Digging: Defacement - Deviant
I had the feeling that either you or ramon were going to write the review for this album, based on that thread. It was a nice read.
2.5 huh? Nevertheless, I'm still intrigued to see if this can beat the new Deathhammer (coming out on October 5th). Also Skeletonwitch's Devouring Radiant Light.
Gonna give a listen to this bad boy tonight.
Also, am I the only one who gets Voivod vibes every time I read the album title (The Outer Ones, The Outer Limit...)?
Album Rating: 2.5
Thanks for the comments y'all.
There is definitely some Voivod influence here, not just on the t/t.
I was hoping this would do something for me since their past albums seemed to be simmering just below the surface of enjoyability, but unfortunately I’ve been teased and left hanging once again. Didn’t care for this, and seeing as it’s their seventh album, I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan of the band
There may be some Voivod influences here (haven't listened to the new tracks enough to form a full opinion if I'm honest), but they don't entirely define Revocation's music, or at least they aren't the first band that comes to my mind every time I jam an album by these guys.
I guess only Sodom can save us this year, guys...
A Voivod-esque album already came out anyway, it’s by...uh...Voivod
Regarding this album, even if it ends up not being good, that cover already has a place as one of the best of this year, in my opinion. Pretty rad illustration.
I just realized I made it seem like I’ve heard the whole album, I’ve only heard the singles. But assuming the singles are among the best the album has to offer, my opinion will stand.
But yea, the album cover and themes are really cool. I love space shit
Liked this a lot
Digging: The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike
Album Rating: 3.0
Album rules, though the greivances are well justified I guess. Nice review.
Digging: Vanum - Ageless Fire
Have never jammed this band.
Digging: Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Suffer On
Finally gave this album my first listen. At first, when the cover was revealed, I kinda thought that Revocation would go full-on overblown, contemporary technical death metal and get rid of the thrashy sounds/influences, but after the singles and giving this the ol' start to finish, this album still has those good ol' Revocation vibes that made the band appealing to me in the first place.
It's interesting how the boys can evolve their sound without changing it completely. There's some dope stuff on this, especially in the groove department with the bass/drums.
Really dig this more than Great Is Our Sin. The songs that stood out for me during this first listening are Of Unworldly Origin, That Which Consumes All Things (solo is pretty good), Fathomless Catacombs, the title track and Luciferous. Didn't have any problem with the vocals btw (a problem I saw mentioned in the GIOS thread). Need to spin this more though, I can see it growing on me even more. For now I'm gonna rate it a 4/5, liked this a lot.
Can't wait for Deathhammer now, will be the 2018 thrash trifecta for me.
Blood Atonement SLAPS
Album Rating: 3.0
"good review even tho i disagree hard on score. i do agree re: how diff the title track is vs the rest of the album is tho. i was hoping the rest of the album was gonna be more like that one. best track here for sure"
This makes me sad, thought this would be the album to win me over that. Title track was great
Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off
Album is paste as fuck boi
Review is very good pon pon, much precision and titeness