Only a handful of metal bands today can claim to be carrying the torch of the future of metal. Boston’s own Revocation are one of those bands. Back in 2008, the band released their excellent debut album Empire of the Obscene, which was an insane hybrid of thrash, progressive and technical death metal, but for whatever reason, it flew under many a metalheads’ radars. However, a year later the band released Existence Is Futile, and with that album, Revocation single-handedly took the metal world by storm. People began to pay very close attention to this young and insanely talented band from Boston, and they have been ever since. As evidenced by their subsequent albums, all of which are fantastic, Revocation have progressed and matured very rapidly from a young band to a modern metal juggernaut, and the band’s latest album, Deathless, is their finest hour yet.
One thing that’s immediately evident the minute you press play is how huge this album sounds compared to Revocation’s past albums. Though they didn’t sound terrible by any means, the guitar and drum tones always seemed rather flat when compared to other modern metal productions. This is not the case anymore; Revocation enlisted the knob-twisting wizardry of Zeuss to work his magic on Deathless, and it has benefited the band greatly. The production on Deathless is fuller and richer than it has ever been. Dave Davidson’s and Dan Gargiulo’s guitars are much thicker-sounding when the riffing is ferocious and smooth as butter when showing off their guitar acrobatics, Brett Bamberger’s warm bass tone cuts through the mix perfectly, and Phil Dubois-Coyne has never sounded bigger or more present behind his kit.
In addition to the superb production, Deathless contains some of the best songs Revocation have ever written. It’s amazing that in spite of their self-titled album being released a little over a year ago, they still found the time and harnessed the creative energy to write another, even better album in such a short period of time. Seriously, these guys are machines. Deathless is ripe with all the Revocationisms we’ve all come to know and love, but they are much more refined and tighter than ever before. Furthermore, it’s probably no coincidence that the album is called Deathless, because this is the most death metal Revocation have ever been. Take “Madness Opus” for example, by far the heaviest song in Revocation’s catalog. The riffs in this song are as sharp as a serrated knife and equally as deadly, and the main groove of the song will snap necks.
That being said, those who are fond of Revocation for their highly technical take on thrash and shred metal need not fear; there’s still more than enough unbelievable solos and jaw-dropping fretboard gymnastics to teach an entire guitar master class. Dave Davidson once again proves he is one of, if not the greatest guitar players in modern metal with his tasteful and complimentary lead playing. The guitar solos are really the centerpiece of a Revocation album, and the guitar duo of Davidson and Gargulio is dynamic and interesting enough that the excessive lead playing never gets tiring.
In spite of this album’s excellence when compared to their past albums, it really is more of the same of what we’ve come to expect from Revocation. This is Deathless‘ biggest flaw. Revocation have grown greatly as composers, musicians and songwriters over the years, but they seem unwilling to take any risks creatively. There’s no denying that Revocation is a great band, but technical flair only goes so far. That being said, Deathless is still a great album, and definitely deserves a spot in any metalhead’s music library. It’s comforting to know that a band like Revocation are one of the prime torchbearers for future generations of metal bands.
Revocation’s Deathless gets…