Revocation
Netherheaven


3.4
great

Review

by Robert Garland STAFF
September 14th, 2022 | 53 replies


Release Date: 09/09/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Netherheaven has bangs.

Whenever I think of the more modern exports amongst the death metal scene my thoughts hardly ever venture towards the Revocation camp. Perhaps that’s wrong, but the Boston-based death-heads’ particular brand of flamboyant death metal and thrash aesthetic seems wholly one dimensional. That’s not to dismiss an entire discography of Revocation music just for the sake of some journalistic pandering (that could be considered irresponsible to say the least). Netherheaven is a vast sonic landscape, technically rich with virtuosic leads from guitarist David Davidson who keeps an impressive, blinding pace. Netherheaven’s “Diabolical Majesty” begins to call back on the band’s early to mid 2010 records, awash with the same ferocity that didn’t quite translate to the group’s The Outer Ones and yet, the modern day visage doesn’t achieve the same standard as Deathless or the self-titled. Perhaps this has something to with the consistent planting of breakneck proficiency; talent on display at pace. Netherheaven is impressive. No doubt. But its value is marred by a simplicity of blending technicality into the same wall over and over again.

The one-two punch of “Lessons in Occult Theft” and “Nihilistic Violence” seem to reinforce this point. There’s a lot going on amongst the hellish tones. Riffs to make any vintage die-hard Slayer fans weak at the knees surpass the general observations of where exactly death metal supposedly meets thrash, but it’s the melody points that earmark just how much Davidson carries this band, shredding his way through every poignant heavy moment. “Galleries of Morbid Artistry” takes on a slightly different silhouette to the rest of the track’s found within Netherheaven’s more furious soundscapes. Its climes are just different, mellowed out by the less abrasive, wailing harmonies that bulk out its larger being.

Later cuts return again to the abrasive, angular directions that sustain themselves through Davidson’s clear-cut guitar lines. Mostly and efficiently, the other members of Revocation’s trio take a back seat, firmly sticking to their respective roles which in turn, lift Netherheaven back to some of the standard fans fell in love with all those years ago. Razor riffs dominate the album’s forty-five minute run time, adorned only by some of the best guitar solos metal fans are likely to hear this year. But it’s perhaps “Re-Crucified” featuring both Cannibal Corpse vocalist and the late Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder that will stand out the most, swapping the technicality for a terrifying dose of brutality. Of all of Revocation’s cuts, “Re-Crucified” hits the hardest—not because of the clear heaviness or articulate winding riffs, but because we will never hear such a combination again.

I admit it’s hard to fault Revocation’s newest export for being exactly what it is, and it’s not on my agenda to paint it with a brush that would do so and yet, Netherheaven washes unto its own majesty. Netherheaven is technically great, all over and immense to break apart bit by bit. It’s the cyclical, cynical edge to which we hold new music that prevents such an immensely talented band from transgressing the bounds to where good music is treated as so all the while we heap praise on those acts that make technicality memorable, we forget to remember just why technicality is so important to a genre so constantly criticized for not moving forwards. Dave Davidson may have bettered his past song-writing talents, but the cost is clear; impressiveness balancing with mediocrity, mediocrity making room for innovation and the cluster*** caught in between. Revocation manages to bridge the gaps without making it completely clear of the wreckage underneath.



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user ratings (126)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2022


17733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Man this was such a four/five before I had to play this over and over again.

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mkmusic1995
September 14th 2022


264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Definitely a solid album! These guys sure do rip up their instruments

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NastyCrab
September 14th 2022


813 Comments


"Revocation is a 3.8 death/thrash metal band."

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2022


18074 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

The album turned out better than I expected. Great jam

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bloc
September 14th 2022


69158 Comments


Haven't been too impressed with the singles, but I do love these guys.

Digging: Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours

DePlazz
September 14th 2022


3817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agree with the review. I love these guys a lot but the formula is growing stale indeed.

NoHellsNoHeavens
September 14th 2022


258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is great!

trilo
September 14th 2022


5162 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good alb yes

pizzamachine
September 14th 2022


19399 Comments


Music m/

Digging: Draconian - Turning Season Within

Makemebad35
September 14th 2022


1045 Comments


yeah these guys can always jam

pjquinones747
September 14th 2022


3883 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its no Outer Ones but its still v good

Digging: JID - The Forever Story

MikeyPalmice
September 14th 2022


105 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My AOTY, imo their formula is perfect and they dont have to change anything.

Frost15
September 14th 2022


1554 Comments


This band always gets a 3,5 from me. They are consistently great, nothing more, nothing less.

Digging: Turnover - Peripheral Vision

JayEnder
September 14th 2022


15654 Comments


Bangs gang

Digging: The Wonder Years - The Hum Goes on Forever

GoodNeighbour
September 15th 2022


88 Comments


Album definitely rips, only had two full listens.
The Outer Ones and Deathless still sit as my faves but Netherheaven pretty much continues the sound of the last album.
Dave is incredibly consistent though, I think all the albums I've heard are above average.


Lichtbringer
September 15th 2022


807 Comments


the band is cool, amazing live, dave's a fantastic guitarist, but the songwriting just isn't quite there for the most part.

combustion07
September 15th 2022


11083 Comments


A few tracks in and really digging this one so far. Lots of cool fret gymnastics going on

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combustion07
September 15th 2022


11083 Comments


Agreed on the sentiment of them being amazing live! Saw them for the first time in 2010 opening for Whitechapel and Job For a Cowboy and they actually got a bad response from a good amount of people even though they were killing it. At one point Dave said "we're gonna speed it up on this one!" and someone in front of me screamed "how about you speed your way off the stage!!!" I shoulda punched him lol. Got to talk to Dave for a minute that night courtesy of the fact that we were rocking the same Ghoul- Maniaxe shirt. Dude is very cool and definitely an amazing guitarist even though sometimes their music leaves something to be desired for me.

DePlazz
September 15th 2022


3817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Killer live band yeah, saw them four times over the years

Demon of the Fall
September 15th 2022


25818 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This didn't have much of an impact on me the first time around, not sure if I'm just tired of the formula or their song-writing chops have taken a creative nosedive - need to check again.



I missed the last couple, but the era from Existence through to Deathless is rather good.

Digging: The For Carnation - The For Carnation



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