Revocation - _Revocation_
(Relapse Records, 2013)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (5 out of 10)
Beware, fellow metal fans, the effects of online hype, for they can logarithmically boost a band's popularity and create an indelible legend regarding that band's impact on the music scene. However, since objectivity is and shall always remain the pillar of critique; all hype-based arguments are to be cast aside. You might find it rather puzzling to find a review for Revocation's latest effort started this way, but believe me, it isn't. In my view, this band is over-hyped and I could go on for five hundred words trashing them with sentences like 'Testament did this twenty years ago' or 'Dew-Scented takes them to school' -- but I won't.

For the group's fourth and for some reason self-titled album (because as Onkel Tom said, every band needs a self-titled album), one is greeted with a ghastly album cover that completely misses the mark as far as complementing the album's sound with something visual. The album's overall production quality is just a hair better than its predecessor _Chaos of Forms_, with the bass coming off as the number one beneficiary. On _Revocation_, the bass is a lot more present and it sounds just right; a standard metal bass without any messing around. The guitars maintain a bit of a mid-range sound that doesn't obviously lean anywhere within the thrashy proto-death metal sound that these guys are claimed to have spearheaded. And then you have the vocals.

This could very well be Revocation's most criticized aspect. Their sophomore record _Existence Is Futile_ was an impressive album, which was enough for me to just disregard the vocals and dive into the music. By now though, the vocals are still at that largely unenjoyable level, while the music made little progress. Take for example "Scattering the Flock". It's a well structured track that breathes very nicely and uses its different sections to come off as a mature piece. The same goes for the awesome instrumental "Spastic". Unfortunately, this level of musicianship does not prevail over the entire album.

Despite their impressive technical abilities as musicians, something still feels missing from Revocation's overall sound. Maybe it's the general lack of smoothness throughout the album, like that found on "Arch Fiend" or the utterly meaningless few seconds of banjo on "Invidious", which is the only track that includes an attempt to mix up the vocals but came out sounding too much like a Testament rip-off. Or maybe, this really is an inconsistent album with undulating peaks and valleys in terms of quality. _Revocation_ is the sound of a band that's getting better at recording and producing their highly technical work while partially overlooking the key issue of album coherence.


(article published 23/8/2013)

11/1/2011 A El Naby 5.5 Revocation - Chaos of Forms
3/22/2007 Q Kalis 3.5 Revocation - Summon the Spawn
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