For a band that officially began in 2006, there is plenty to be said about the body of work that this particular group has released. It is important to state that this four piece out of Boston have continued to gloriously redefine the way metal music can be presented throughout their twelve year existence. Having always paid close attention to detail in their songwriting, they transform their sound into something that constantly surpasses expectation with each release.
Revocation is their name and consistently releasing good music is their game. Since their humble beginnings these guys have been configuring mind blowing songs loaded with technical guitar licks and versatile percussion sections. Earlier works such as ‘Empire of the Obscene’ and ‘Existence Is Futile’ showcased a bit more traditional metal style songwriting, but possessed the proggy/technical nuances that still transcend their sound to this day. Revocation have always explored various areas of metal and have never shied away from introducing experimental elements to a genre that can often times be very straightforward. That being said, just when you thought the band couldn’t push the limits of their sound any further, they take us on a journey through astral territory with their latest record ‘The Outer Ones.’ With a release date of September 28th via the almighty Metal Blade Records, the band has expanded outward into the darkest reaches of space and have given their sound an extraterrestrial upgrade.
An upgrade that sees the band accelerating their instrumental speed, playing around with more progressive ideas, and really putting an emphasis on each instrument (i’m looking at you bass player Brett Bamberger). Released as the first single off of the record, Of Unworldly Origin comes whirling in with precision and speed. Drummer Ash Pearson sets the song off with a blazing drum fill and from then on this song takes on a life of its own. Although an enormous opening track for the album, the band does not lay everything out for the listener. They spread their tricks evenly throughout this record wisely. You’ll notice in That Which Consumes All Things and Blood Atonement that the band becomes a bit more playful in their writing. In these tracks, Revocation create animated musical combinations utilizing celestial melodies and darkened prog components. The former song is an evil ode to the Florida death metal sound, with a Schuldiner influenced harmony at the beginning of the guitar solo (an influence that will always be subtly present in the guitar work of David Davidson and Dan Gargiulo). The latter being a creative force of melo-death, where enticing riffs transform into an ethereal euphonious playground, filled with masterful bass lines. Dissonant chords strumming throughout this record create inharmonious melodies that can be traced back to this bands beginnings. Classic elements of Revocation make up the track Fathomless Catacombs, a nod to the bands discography and a fun song to jam.
Another crucial aspect of this band has always been their transitions, the way they are able to move through songs that incorporate such a wide range of genre elements and play through them seamlessly. The title track The Outer Ones is a great example of this. A whirlwind of proggy riffing and blast beats introduce this track and weaves from part to part without a hiccup. Fans of ‘Planetary Duality’ by The Faceless will certainly approve of this track.
One thing that never gets old from Revocation is their ability to produce high quality instrumentals. In Ex Nihilo, complex riffing develops into a spacious arena of guitar streaming. Neat drum sections and intricate fills accompany the gracious guitar work and meaty bass runs. This is one of the few bands that can still pull off an instrumental track without it sounding too pretentious or boring, in my opinion. This song is the precursor to what can potentially be considered the two greatest pieces on the album. First, there is the diabolical Luciferous. A super heavy introduction with battering double bass, transforming into a powerful speed metal segment. Speed and fiery melodies make this a standout track. Concluding the album comes the doomy epic A Starless Darkness, a song that can be described as the ender of all enders. This track persists with heaviness and possesses a monstrous doomy/death section in both the beginning and end. Becoming a bit involved towards the middle, the track has this bright riff coupled with neat cymbal work. It gives off this feeling that your floating out in space, then all of a sudden you get sucked into a black hole once that introduction comes back around to end the song.
With ‘The Outer Ones,’ Revocation takes you on a galactic journey through the dark vastness of space. The latest record sees the band becoming a bit more anomalous and creative with their already specialized songwriting. We see them toying with different aspects of technical death metal and progressive song structure elements that are refreshing for even this band. A band that has never put a limit on the music they create and have always been willing to push the boundaries of their personal sound.