You like a mixture of Slayer, Iron Maiden and Death? If you do, then Revocation is surely for you. The 2008 album Empire of the Obscene is now re-issued as a re-master blaster remix (courtesy of Pete Rutcho) with extra early demos added. David Davidson leads the way with his tortured vocals and complex fretwork and the whole album is a masterclass in Technical Death Metal, something you would expect from this Berklee College of Music alumni.
This is not for the faint hearted, but does also display very dark humour, especially on the fantastic pun-ful “Tail from the Crypt“, telling the story of a coroner who loves his work far more than he should!
The music beats its way out of the speakers with the thrasher “Unattained” and is an unrelenting exercise in audio aggression until the sublime instrumental “Stillness” calms down the disorder.
The album is technically amazing in that chugging riffs give way to guitar harmonies that remind me of prime time Annihilator – echoes of Jeff Waters bounce off the walls of this release. Although the growling screamo vocals can grate a bit over the life of the collection, it doesn’t detract from a very impressive set, with some thought provoking lyrics about corruption and (naturally) death/disease.
Highlights include the more melodic “Age of Iniquity“, which uses light and shade to temper the temper tantrums. The musical malevolence of “Summon the Spawn” brings to mind Baloff-fronted Exodus while the technical scaling of the “Fields of Predation” take its cues from Human-era Death.
“Alliance and Tyranny” is another favourite, maxing out on some great guitar breaks and a nod to songs such as “Orion” by Metallica.
The demos seem to be of pretty good quality, but do not compare favourably with the clearer cutting edge of the remastered versions. However, for those completists, these will be welcome if the original EP releases proved hard to find.
Overall, this ball of wax is really well executed, being a guitar geek’s ideal choice. For me, it was eye opening and will continue to be listened to for some while to come. Job done.