Revocation - _Chaos of Forms_
(Relapse Records, 2011)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (5.5 out of 10)
Revocation's 2009 album _Existence Is Futile_ threw me off unexpectedly when I first listened to it despite its questionable recording quality. It clearly indicated that these guys are pretty passionate about the music they're making, and they have some intriguing ideas to put into it. Two years later and they're back with their third album _Chaos of Forms_, which isn't at all chaotic and follows pretty much the same form. Does it still make them sound intriguing? Certainly not when I use this particular phrasing, but let's dive in a little deeper.

Revocation is essentially a three-piece melodic death/thrash metal band, which means there will definitely be another extra guitar track recorded and either playback or an extra fellow on stage. The guys decided to go with the more natural solution of having a live guitarist join them on stage, which presents to their audience a more organic sound. Stylistically speaking, they have some very obvious influences that are rooted in the Bay Area Thrash scene and almost inexistent non-American influences. Their riffing patterns are more on the Testament / Forbidden side than on the Kreator / Destruction side, and the drumming provides some interesting tricks here and there, while the bass remains for the most part hardly audible.

Opening track "Cretin" gets _Chaos of Forms_ underway without any unnecessary introductions that pointlessly drag on. "Dissolution Ritual" provides a slightly more technical and fast-paced affair, with a 5/4 riff and a melodic solo, while the slower "Conjuring the Cataclysm" pushes the band's melodic tendencies to another level in a successful effort to escalate the album's mood. The balance gets tipped in the favor of aggression a few times throughout the record, like on "Beloved Horrifier" and "Reprogrammed", but the idea here is that the guitar tones and the overall album production approach do not make these tracks sound as dry and processed as many death metal bands do nowadays.

All in all, _Chaos of Forms_ is a good album from Revocation, but it doesn't leave me hungry to listen to it again as much as its predecessor _Existence Is Futile_ did. Their solid old-school riffing style goes well with their trebly sound, but puts it at the risk of being a wannabe retro album. I'd recommend a few singled out tracks from this one, but I find myself leaning more towards _Existence Is Futile_. It's OK if you're the kind of listener who must have everything, but for the average metal fan looking for a good time, this one could go flat before reaching two digit listens.


(article published 1/11/2011)

8/23/2013 A El Naby 5 Revocation - Revocation
3/22/2007 Q Kalis 3.5 Revocation - Summon the Spawn
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