It’s one thing to have a brutal grinding cd-cover, it’s a completely different thing to deliver an album that completely lives up to the expectations that the cover promises. In 2009, Revocation managed this with their second studio album Existence Is Futile. The Boston-based threesome claim they are technical thrash/death metal, but that doesn’t quite cover it. Have you ever heard of progressive- thrash- black- death- power- groove metal? Me neither, but that is what comes to mind when listening to Revocation. Oh, and let’s not forget the jazz, blues and funk influences. Sounds complicated, huh?
There are so many different styles on this album that it is hard to make an exact classification of their sound, but the main styles are thrash and death metal. And these guys really know how to thrash around. Opener Enter The Hall sounds like Pantera and Slayer blended with a prog sauce. The album pumps up with the brutal thrashing of Pestilence Reigns. The rhythm section in this song is proper old school, and that’s a really good thing. It’s extreme thrash with a lot of riffs and surprising twists and turns ranging from blues to southern rock. The same could be said for Anthem Of The Betrayed, which is even more old school. The most surprising thing is that although it’s really tight and technical it retains a catchiness that is relatively easy listening, even to the trained metal ear.
Oh, did I mention this album was brutal? Even a random pick of any three songs from Existence Is Futile will guarantee to more riffs and licks than most other albums you can think of. Across The Forest And The Fjords, Dismantle The Dictator and Existence Is Futile are, to my mind, the best songs to demonstrate this point. The powerful production and the aggressive singing and shouting of singer and guitarist David Davison really contributes to that, as does his brilliant guitar play.
One can only hope that the young Bostonians have not put all their best ideas in one album. Existence Is Futile is of higher quality than the entire discography of many other bands. If Revocation can keep up this level of quality, they have a brilliant career ahead of them.
written by Maarten Merkens