(Andy Synn gets to grips with the new album from Revocation, due out 09 September on Metal Blade)
It’s always seemed odd to me that some people seem to equate “being a fan” of a band with “never, ever criticising or questioning what they do”.
Maybe it’s because they’ve invested so much of their identity into their fandom (which is never healthy), or maybe it’s because that’s just what they’ve been told by “the internet” and don’t want to rock the boat, but some folks act as though even entertaining the mildest of criticisms about a band is tantamount to a full-blown betrayal.
That’s obviously not the case, of course, and I’d argue that it’s not at all helpful for a band’s fans to just blindly praise them, since honest feedback from their audience potentially provides one of the best ways for an artist to learn and improve (but that’s an issue for a whole other article).
Case in point, while I think most would agree that Revocation have at least two top-tier classics under their belt(s) – namely 2011’s tech-tacular Chaos of Forms and 2014’s bombastically burly Deathless – it’s worth acknowledging that not every one of their seven (soon to be eight) albums hits quite the same heights (the self-titled in particular is a real clunker), and the band definitely aren’t perfect (nor do I think they’d claim to be).
But if all that has you worried about what I’m going to tell you about their newest album… don’t be, because this preamble has actually just been a clever bait-and-switch, since Netherheaven is easily on par with the band’s very best, and might even be the new standard by which all their work will be judged going forwards.