In the age of the internet and worldwide access to information, we are inundated with loads of new bands, artists, and generally good music. But one look at the Bandcamp metal menu will show that these bands tend to be heavily focused in a few areas. The top sellers there are either one-man black metal projects, death bands, doom bands, or genre revivals. There is a significant deficit of thrash-infused metal out there, and Vancouver’s Revenger has found a great time to emerge. The band’s latest, The New Mythology Vol. 1, takes elements of thrash and groove metal and incorporates it into a metalcore sound. Imagine a low budget and low production version of early Killswitch Engage and you wouldn’t be off the mark. They can create rhythms that absolutely pummel you, or they can make your head bob to chugging metal grooves.
Revenger has undergone some serious changes in the last few years. At the release of their first album, 2014’s To The Wolves, Revenger consisted of guitarist and founder JP Poulin, drummer and founder Chris Warunki, Jordan Knute on guitars, Darryl Green on bass, and vocalist Greg Cavanagh. A few months later, Warunki and Cavanagh were replaced by drummer Julia Geaman and vocalist Andrew Bailey. The following year, Poulin switched to bass, Greer left, and Sean Parkinson replaced Knute as guitarist. Needless to say, there has not been much stability for the band.
These changes also prompted a significant stylistic redirection. To the Wolves was a much more straightforward metalcore record that dabbled in thrash and groove. Mythology is a far more developed sound. It throws several styles in a pot and mixes them up. The metalcore is still there in the vocals and sections of songs, but this is a band far more technically proficient than its previous incarnation. Given how they piece these songs together, you could throw progressive into the mix.
The five-track EP is an interesting choice. As the album title might imply, there does seem to be some world building going on in the songs. “Hex” seems to be a story of a slave angry at his master. “The Watcher (Uatu)” appears to be a story from the perspective of a cosmic being not unlike the Watchers of Marvel Comics fame. Each song takes the perspective of another character in a shared universe. While there is no story holding the songs together, creating an anthology of stories is still a really interesting story that further enraptures you in the album.
To match the anthology feel of the songs, each has its own musical feel. Some of the songs lean on thrash elements of fast and chugging guitars with heavy percussion. Others lean toward the groovier side of things, opting for more bass-driven rhythms and slower drum beats. The change of pace keeps you interested in the tracks.
Revenger really relies on the Poulin’s bass work. It’s an interesting choice for a metal band in general to feature the bass ever, but Poulin shines on several of these tracks. The whole record has an added depth that few others have. Revenger shines when Poulin can drive the groove riffs in “The Man Who Shot God”. The drums can be equally powerful in those sections, too. Julia Geaman is a particularly talented drummer, and her cymbals cut through like a splash in open water.
All in all, this is an album with a lot of interesting parts. It will be very interesting to see what this band does in the future and how their sound develops going forward. For some people, that’s the best part of listening to young bands like Revenger: you get in on the ground floor and see what your investment results in. Revenger could be an interesting investment opportunity.
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The New Mythology Vol. 1 is available 2/17 and can be purchased via the Bandcamp link above.