Updated: Mar 21, 2019
Technical death metal isn't necessarily a genre that's consistently thought of as brutal or aggressive. We are, after all, more inclined to listen to the bands for their musicianship predominantly more than the primitive raw power of normal death metal. For a tech-death band to accomplish the task of sheer heaviness is an impressive feat. And Boston's REVOCATION do just that. If the six albums before "The Outer Ones" prove anything, it's that the guys have consistently drop-kicked our sorry asses throughout the past decade.
And the new album is no exception. Some bands tire out a little with mediocre albums after ten years. But REVOCATION, consisting of David Davidson (guitars, vocals), Dan Gargiulo (guitars, vocals), Brett Bamberger (bass) and Ash Pearson (drums), rip out our throats on "The Outer Ones" and stomp that fucker flat. First track 'Of Unworldly Origin' doesn't ease into the album. It starts off with a furious bang. The guitars rapidly spray their energy as the vocals hoarsely scream and slice their way into our already bleeding eardrums. One of the great things about good tech-death bands such as REVOCATION is the constant cord changes throughout each track, creating a diverse array of aural elegance. 'That Which Consumes All Things', with it's rolling drums and melodic guitars, soothe the soul and gets the blood boiling both at the same time.
'Blood Atonement', 'Fathomless Catacombs and 'The Outer Ones' shimmer, blister and quake, never giving us a chance to catch our breath. The musicianship in each is stunning in their complexity, beauty and fuel-driven sound all combining into one orgasmic experience. 'Vanitas', with it's duel guitars and bleak lyrics, continues the consistent, yet ever-changing album. And if you're a guitarist, just try keeping up with 'Ex Nihilo'. And what would a metal album be without a blasphemous reference in 'Luciferous'? The vocals sound a little more aggressive...the guitars play a little heavier. 'A Starless Darkness' wraps it all up in a mid-tempo, tech-infused delivery.
How a band of this complexity and magnitude are able to capture the feel of their live shows on their albums...well, I'll fucking raise my devil horns high in their honor. "The Outer Ones" is yet another masterpiece in the hopefully long career of REVOCATION. The official album release is this Friday Sept. 28th. You better get your hands on a copy!
- David Simonton, Photos by - Emily Harris