Revocation – Deathless

Revocation - Deathless

Revocation have been one of the most prolific new metal bands of the last decade, never waiting more than two years in between releasing full length albums and sprinkling in a couple EPs as well. The band has had a very specific musical vision since day one. They play an all-out assault of ripping heavy metal, combing fast and sturdy thrash metal heroics with a copious amount of progressive and complex death metal wizardry. It’s music born in the 1990s, but polished to perfection and presented as a modern vision of the shape of metal to come.

Led by Dave Davidson, who sings, writes most of the material, and is easily among the best heavy metal guitarists under the age of 30 today – if not at the absolute top of the heap – the band has just signed with Metal Blade Records to release their fifth album “Deathless.” Revocation are a touring machine. They rarely ever take breaks from the road between albums unless they are in the studio recording their next one. It’s a grind that many young metal bands these days need to attempt to keep up with, in an effort to stay relevant in today’s ADHD-addled musical landscape.

This type of regime is often not very conducive to creativity. In an effort to get records out as soon as possible, many young bands speed up or cut short their writing processes or simply run their sound into the ground, never having enough time in between records to develop an identity.

While Revocation don’t exactly fit that description, they certainly have been a bit hit-and-miss since their inception. So after last year’s self-titled album, which I found to be the least interesting record of their short career, my hopes weren’t too high when “Deathless” was slated to be released just 14 months after its release.

Thankfully, my gut feeling was completely wrong. Revocation were able to step up to the plate and deliver their finest album yet. One characteristic that has plagued the band since its inception has been the inability oftentimes to balance the technical and catchy without it sounding forced. That’s why their albums often shifted between the two extremes. Their third record “Chaos of Forms” was definitely their most well-organized and melodic album, which was immediately followed by the “Revocation” record, that while having excellent playing on display, failed to register any significant hooks that would keep you coming back for more.

Revocation

Deathless” is Revocation’s most natural sounding album yet. They’ve finally been able to fuse both sides of their musical vocabulary, and added a looming cloak of darkness to their sound in the process. “Deathless” is an album that shows a band running on all cylinders. Everything is clicking for Davidson and his band members, who show an incredible amount of chemistry finally. While Davidson was usually the lone star on Revocation records, everyone shine this time out, especially drummer Phil Dubois, who really puts in brilliant performances all over the record, keeping time like a well-oiled machine, but with a new-found penchant for moments of almost Peartian flash.

Despite the great variety displayed throughout the album, from the sing-songy title track, to the Domination-era Morbid Angel inspired “Madness Opus,” to the progressive thrash metal perfection of “Scorched Earth Policy” and “The Blackest Reaches,” the entire album is engulfed by a dark vibe that might take Revocation fans by surprise. Whether it was a premeditated thing or it’s just the way the album came out, the shadowy atmosphere gives Revocation an air of seriousness they didn’t really have previously.

When all is said and done, it’s clear that “Deathless” is the most mature effort of the band’s career and should be able to launch them into new heights of popularity within the metal underground, especially since they are continuing to tirelessly tour the world with any and every band that will take them.

Tracklist:

01. A Debt Owed to the Grave
02. Deathless
03. Labyrinth of Eyes
04. Madness Opus
05. Scorched Earth Policy
06. The Blackest Reaches
07. The Fix
08. United in Helotry
09. Apex
10. Witch Trials

Line-up:

* David Davidson – guitars / vocals
* Dan Gargiulo – guitars / vocals
* Brett Bamberger – bass / vocals
* Phil Dubois – drums

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/Revocation

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