Revocation

Chaos Of Forms

01. Cretin
02. Cradle Robber
03. Harlot
04. Dissolution Ritual
05. Conjuring The Cataclysm
06. No Funeral
07. Fractal Entity
08. Chaos Of Forms
09. The Watchers
10. Beloved Horrifier
11. Dethroned
12. Reprogrammed

[08/16/11]
[Relapse]

The neo-thrash/nu-thrash movement fell down for me in one big way. It wasn’t a movement that was trying to break any new ground but instead was one that insisted on recreating a sound. Very few bands seemed interested in anything more than taking a few Exodus and Testament riffs and stretching them out over a whole album, and that’s fine for some and I certainly enjoyed quite a few bands who did just that – but bands with real substance were few and far between.

Revocation were and indeed still are a breath of fresh air to the exhumed corpse of retro-thrash. Maybe it’s the unbelievable guitar wizardry of David Davidson, the complex song structures or even the drum acrobatics of Phil Dubois-Coyne, but whatever it is, it makes Revocation stand out like no other band. However, part of the appeal for their second record Existence Is Futile was that it came completely out of nowhere after their distinctly average debut, so this time Revocation can be judged only on their merits as musicians.

Unsurprisingly though, perhaps, Chaos Of Forms is spectacular; it’s Existence Is Futile with bells on. Energy and excitement is present by the bucket load; whether it be in the form of bluesy solos, blistering riffs, turn-on-a-dime tempo changes or even the inclusion of some frankly bombastic horns. To give a direct comparison, Revocation remind me of the first time I heard Megadeth‘s Rust In Peace. That exhilarating, ‘million-miles-an-hour’ audio-adrenaline that normally tends to surround bands who not only play fast, but also well.

Opener “Cretin” keeps proceedings relatively straight forward by running through a whole selection of melodic and yet technical riffs before hitting on a ‘guitar-god’ solo (that I could easily assume was a guest spot containing the tasteful meanderings of someone like Micheal Amott) and showing that the addition of Dan Gargiulo as second guitarist works to beef out the sound dramatically. Immediately you’re greeted by “Cradle Robber,” a compact thrash single if there ever was one, that sees an entirely macabre subject matter turned into a catchy shout-along that will no doubt become a live favourite for the band.

The title track is a jarring reminder of how, when it’s done well, technicality can be memorable. Twisting and turning guitar riffs intermingle with precise drumming before the whole thing takes a sharp left turn into the soaring world of John Petrucci solos and continuing straight into an uplifting chug section that brings to mind the Infinity-era work of Devin Townsend. It’s still done in that distinct Revocation style, but I think that it just pinpoints exactly how much Chaos Of Forms is about progression and exploring other influences whilst staying grounded. Honestly, it’s these moments where the band experiment with something a little out of their comfort zone that are the most interesting. Whether it be the blatant and obvious inclusion of horns and an organ to close out “The Watchers” or the more subtle embrace of clean guitar sections in “Dissolution Ritual“, it’s the satisfying sound of a band progressing and maturing naturally.

No amount of hyperbole I spout off here will make you listen to Revocation, but I would highly recommend it – and if you honestly can’t get on board with Chaos Of Forms then it’s a real shame because, in my opinion, they are one of the only bands out there at the minute with something for everyone; there’s technicality for the musicians, songs for the fans and a keen mind at combining the two for everyone in between.

Revocation’s Chaos Of Forms gets…

4.5/5

 

– DL

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