05 August 2013
by Rob McAuslan
Whilst the majority of bands fanny about deciding exactly which sub-sub-sub-subgenre of metal they’d like to fit exactly into, Dave Davidson and his crew in Revocation just get on with the business of writing excellent heavy metal. Also, it’s a widely-known fact that banjos on metal records rule.
Whilst 2011’s Chaos Of Forms was great, it sounded a little overly clinical and that fact alone meant that it dropped out of my regular rotation fairly quickly. No such problem with this record, thankfully! It’s a long way from sounding like a document of their live show or anything, but there’s a natural unforcedness to go with the full and weighty mix that draws you into the music rather than concentrating on how precise it all sounds. It is precise though, make no mistake there – fans of hoofing great riffs, fearsome solo technique and tempo-switching fuckery need look no further.
Some of the out-and-out technicality that Revocation are known for has fallen away a little in pursuit of a more holistic, song-driven approach. It’s a great move, making the high points feel even higher and allowing Davidson the space to really stretch out in the solos. Integrating their former touring guitarist Dan Gargiulo as a full member of the band over the last year or two has proven wise too, with the Teratogenesis EP last year proving that he more than had the chops to keep up with the writing side.
Listen to ‘the Hive’ by Revocation:
What’s most remarkable about this self-titled record is how much actual music it packs into a relatively (by recent standards) short running time. Only four songs go longer than five minutes, with a few dipping way under the four-minute mark but despite this songs like ‘Invidious’ (which includes the aforementioned banjo-shredding) and ‘Entombed By Wealth’ manage to contain distinct movements, making each track a unique yet vital part of a coherent, constantly-interesting whole. Whilst it lacks a lot of the genre-hopping, “name that genre” madness of their previous work, there’s still plenty of variety to keep you listening and the more consistent sound makes it feel more clearly realised.
Sounds Like: Headbanging riffs meet jazz-fusion soloing over proggy arrangements. And a banjo.
Standout Tracks: Fracked, The Gift You Gave, A Visitation