Revocation- Revocation (Relapse Records)

Revocation continue to impress...
Release Date: 
6 Aug 2013 (All day)

Fans of Revocation's previous album, 2011's Chaos of Forms, might look at this new self-titled effort as somthing of a step backwards for the band. A rudimentary internet search certainly indicates that there are a number of critics that seem to think so. With more straightforward songs and less of the frantic style-hopping present in the previous release, you might be forgiven for thinking that. However, this is still a Revocation album through and through. What it lacks in stylistic variation (which is still quite present, just more subtly weaved through the music) it makes up for in consistancy of vision and enough technical guitar mind-bending by mainman David Davidson to sate the lust of any guitar wank enthusiast.

For those unfamiliar with the band; Revocation plays a pland of death and thrash metal that is highly technical and prone to wandering into compositional territory where it would be appropriate to throw around phrases such as "jazz fusion" to describe it. However, on this release the technicality is downplayed a little bit in order to focus on crafting songs as a whole. This doesn't mean there are no moments of guitar wizardry, just listen to the clean melodic break at the end of Archfiend that conjurs up images of the intro to Damage Inc or the Kerry King style whammy-abuse in Numbing Agents for proof. But amongst the technicality, there exist real hooks in the music. For instance, Invidious has an insidious gang-chant that'll worm it's way into your head, while Fracked has great chugging riffs designed to make you splinter your spinal cord.

The great thing about having hooks in music as technical as this is that it gives the listener something immediate to grab onto and appreciate while still providing layers of compositional depth that can be explored later. For individuals who have had their attention span destroyed by the internet, such as myself, this is where bands falling under the "technical" banner excel the most. They give you a bit of that instant gratification we all want, but invite you in and sit you down to show you there's so much more to them.

That's not to say the album is perfect, songs tend to drag in place here and there and instrumental track Spastic focuses on an off centre riff that doesn't quite work. However, besides those one or two issues, this really is a solid album. Like I mentioned before, this really seems to be a "love it ore hate it" album for Revocation's existing fans, but I personally think that the album has a great balance between technicality and accessibility. If you've never heard Revocation before, this is definitely the album to start with.