In honor of this being my album of the year, here is the full review I wrote for my blog back in August when this was released.
Boston technical death metal/thrash outfit Revocation has become one of the most popular extreme metal bands in the underground right now. Their newest self-titled release should see Revocation hitting the next level of popularity as they continue to prove their place as one of the modern masters of heavy metal.
doesn't necessarily see the band going into new territory with their sound, it just takes their established sound and makes more it polished. With Revocation you know you're going to get high levels of musicianship across the board, but this go-round the songwriting is beefed up and has never been better. Each track just has a better sense of flow and organization between balancing the different ends of their sound (Case in point on "Archfiend", which transfers very organically from tech-death to a beautiful acoustic section at the end of the song.) The tracks are longer than normal for them, which allows them to write more tight and exciting material that builds upon their technical strengths they've shown in the past. For the first time in their career they've crafted an album that maintains its quality all the way through with nothing even close to filler. Aside from the better songwriting, the biggest improvement on this record is the riffs. Revocation has always been a band that has had its fair share of quality riffs, but this record just takes it to the next level. Everything from crushing old-school death groove riffs (the ending of "Invidious", which is one of the most punishing, headbang-worthy riffs I've ever heard) to melodic gems ("The Gift You Gave",) Revocation doesn't a go song without dropping numerous catchy licks that are absolutely infectious to the listener. It doesn't matter if you like traditional death metal grooves or progressive riffing or anything in-between, Revocation has something for every metal riff connoisseur on this record. Of course, it wouldn't be a Revocation album without talking about the solowork of guitarist/vocalist David Davidson. Davidson once again proves why he is at the top of the heap of metal guitarists with yet another barrage of guitar wizardry on this record . His combination of fret-melting proficiency ( the solo on "Numbing Agents" made my head spin) and variety of solos make him the undisputed bests soloer in modern metal in my eyes. You never what you're going to get from him and I've yet to be not highly impressed by any solo he lays down.
Records like this make me proud to be a metal fan. This outing sees Revocation keeping their traditional sound in tact, while improving on it with more focused songwriting featuring the best riffs and harmonies they've ever written. This is clearly a band that know it's strengths and knows how to naturally build upon them on each new release. If the quality of Revocation
holds up upon future listens (which so far it has through four full playthroughs and I'd be shocked if it didn't continue to hold up,) this will probably be my favorite record of the year. As a longtime fan of Revocation, this is the record that I've been waiting for them to put out. This record is just fifty minutes of fast, riffy and sometimes progressive heavy metal with mind-blowing musicianship that is pure bliss to listen to. This is a can't miss album for any fan of extreme and/or thrash metal and further cements the growing legacy of Revocation as one of the most exciting moderns acts in all of metal.