(Israel Flanders reviews the new album from Revocation. He likes it big-time. So do I.)
Yeah, it’s Revocation time. Which means it’s fuck-shit-up time.
I think we’d all be full of it if we, as a collective, denied that this was an extremely anticipated album. Empire Of The Obscene was like being put through the deathrash equivalent of a butcher shop, Existence Is Futile was like having your brain scrambled (cheesy song reference for the win) by hot pokers and sewing needles. So what does that make Chaos of Forms?
THE HUMAN BLENDER TO END ALL FLESH-RIPPING MONSTROSITIES!
If the ferocious opening riff of “Cretin” doesn’t snarl at you like the most savage and demonic of wolves waiting to tear your liver out and force you to eat the remnants after they’ve feasted, the rest of the song will certainly teach you right. Ferocious thrash riffing, blast beats abounding, shredderific solos, and that sense of signature Revocation experimentation and flirtation with jazz fusion and even southern rock (mostly found in David Davidson’s solos) we’ve all come to love. (more after the jump . . .)
It doesn’t let up either, because “Cradle Robber” comes-a-thrashin’ in right after it. I’m surprised these two songs in a row don’t break the necks of those listening in two before they are over. If you are so metal, so manly, and so badass that you survive, don’t worry. You’re still at risk — there is more.
“Harlot” starts off deceptively mid-paced before sucking you into a whirlpool of blast beats and total hate-fucking fury followed by a kickass clean section and solo. “Dissolution Ritual” and “Conjuring The Cataclysm” are both evil, sinister, slower numbers demonstrating Revocation’s more progressive edge, while displaying the pure venom they can achieve no matter what kind of song they are working with. Both songs include very cool clean sections, but “Conjuring The Cataclysm” is especially noteworthy, with it’s waltz-riffing, and clean sections counterbalanced by pure black metal.
“No Funeral” comes crashing in with riffs that could’ve very well been spliced into the more technical numbers on Megadeth’s Rust In Peace. The melodic, yet intricate, onslaught is just NON-STOP! I’ve heard people dismiss this song for sounding like a power-metal song. These people are insane and need a metal re-education.
Listening to “Fractal Entity” is like having a drill put straight through your brain for under 2 minutes, simply to usher you into the title track. You’re instantly hammered by math thrash that really harkens back to the days of Meshuggah’s Contradictions Collapse in the best way, even dialing in a clean tone that sounds like Meshuggah’s for the solo. Probably the best song on the album, proobably my fav song on the album period — the riffs, the arrangement, the dynamics, everything is perfect.
It’s hard to believe after the monstrous title track that the album will maintain its momentum, but it certainly does. “The Watchers” hits hard with technical death metal riffing all over the map, only to transition into something more reminiscent of Voivod or Watchtower -style riffing. Very cool.
“Beloved Horrifier” calls back to the blitzkrieg-styled thrash found on the first two songs on this album and shows absolutely no mercy. SO MANY RIFFS! SO MUCH BRUTALITY! SO MUCH SPEED! This song works for me.
“Dethroned” brings in — gasp — what’s that? — melodic metalcore-styled riffing!? That’s right, and it whoops ass. This is the first truly melodic song since “No Funeral” and it’s also one of my favorites. The melodies here are just amazingly well-composed. There is a section in this song with layers of distorted and clean guitars that’s haunting and ethereal in a way we haven’t heard from this band before, a solid sign of their progression. The last 2 minutes of this song are also superb, one of the best Revocatiion outro’s I’ve heard.
“Reprogrammed” closes out the album with Nevermore-like serpentine riffing, ushering in a section with truly awe-inspiring shred action and guitar interplay, before moving back to the intro riffage and proceeding to beat your skull into tiny, dust-like fragments. A southern rock solo, some dissonant chugging with blast beats, and a serving of heavy-as-fuck grooves escort you out of this album and into oblivion. Congratulations, you’ve officially been destroyed by audio.
On first listen, I didn’t like all of this album, but after drilling it into my brain, it’s grown on me in a huge way. THIS IS one of the best albums of the year. This is next-level metal in its purest form.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Chaos of Forms will see its North American release courtesy of Relapse on August 16 (September 5 internationally) and is available for pre-order at this location and at iTunes. To dig deeper into Revocation and stalk them as they continue their climb toward the highest echelons of metaldom, check out their pages at MySpace and Facebook.
Coincidentally enough, the very day you post this review, Guitar World begins hosting a stream of the entirety of “Chaos Of Forms” on their site. I’m currently one song away from finishing my first full listen-through, and I read each of your song descriptions as I went (so far, they’ve all been highly accurate). Admittedly, I wasn’t overly enthralled by “No Funeral” or “Dissolution Ritual” when they were first released a while back (I loved the other two singles), but after listening to them a few more times last week and then again today in the context of the other tracks, I’ve come to be extremely fond of them, as well. This album shows Revocation’s full maturation as a band, and takes the immense creativity we’ve always known them for to whole new heights. A truly fantastic record. \m/
Thanks for the tip on the full-album stream. I actually just got the press release about it, which you beat to the punch. For everyone else, here’s the link to the full stream:
Fun, fun, fun! I’m much more stoked for this record after hearing the above tracks than before. Rips.
Great Review, dude! This is without a doubt Revocation’s best album, and hands-down one of the best of ’11!
Had the misfortune to see these guys open for Despised Icon on their farewell tour. Total snooze fest. I don’t get all the hype, sorry.
It’s OK. We can tolerate this divergent opinion, barely. But if you say anything bad about Fleshgod Apocalypse, that means war! 🙂