Revocation – Existence is Futile

Posted in Album, Reviews on December 11th, 2009 by Alex

Revocation’s hype stateside has failed to translate into a particularly big splash either side of the Atlantic. Their confusing mix of thrash/death and guitar god faux-eclecticism may go some way to explaining this. Broken into its constituent parts it’s very convincing indeed, and perhaps this is why Cosmo Lee mistook them for “the next great metal band” – they may well be at some point, but they ain’t there yet.

There’s some riffery to die for here driving some brutal thrash that will turn the head of even the most sceptical. But from beneath the maelstrom seeps a latent melody that sets them apart from the Death pack, although it’s often flattened by unsubtle sub-death vocals – competent, but perhaps the least impressive part of Revocation’s armoury.

Then there’s the godlike guitar virtuosity from new kid on the block David Davidson who any point he sounds like Satriani, Petrucci, Vai, Bettencourt (yes, you heard me right) among others, each with their respective stylistic ensemble. This is lovely, it really is. However, on too many occasions these virtuoso passages are clumsily tacked on the end of, or shoved into the middle of songs that they have no right to be in. Occasionally this works, but for the most part it just makes you think “That’s really cool, but why did you put it there?” This is not a merging of styles, it’s different songs being clumsily selotaped together, and it’s just a distraction from the main event – state of the art metal.

I commend Revocation’s efforts to do something different, however it just doesn’t hold together. Davidson needs to go exorcise his frustrated guitar god and make a solo album, then concentrate on making Revocation the great band they could be.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Part 1

Posted in Indulgence, News, Tracks on August 20th, 2009 by Alex

The Good

Devin Townsend nonchalantly Tweets:

@dvntownsend counting down…late nights, great progress…suddenly very happy about record 2. Released around Nov 20.

and unleashes more verbose psychobabble on the world:

Musically, ‘Addicted’ is along the lines of the big, wall-of-sound hard rock/heavy metal of Ocean Machine and (The Devin Townsend Project’s) ‘Accelerated Evolution’ — even Physicist at points. It is a very direct and ‘to-the-point’ album with an emphasis on groove and the chorus.

Exciting stuff, seriously. If it’s 1/10th as good as Terria or Accelerated Evolution, it’ll be amazing. Perhaps more tantalizing however is:

On other notes: I have been rehearsing with a new band, and we will start touring in early 2010, representing all the back catalogue of solo material, from ‘Ki’, ‘Addicted’, Physicist, Ziltoid, Terria, Ocean Machine, The Devin Townsend Band, Infinity etc… I have some big plans for this and rehearsals are sounding amazing. The touring entity will be called ‘Devin Townsend’ and is essentially a way for me to get out there and interact again and showcase 15 years of music that never really got its fair shake. We look forward to seeing you out there!

Yeah! You better be doing that in the UK Mr. Townsend!

Next – A new track released off of Megadeth’s anticipated new album:

Do I hear some leanings back to Countdown to Extinction days? Speed metal loveliness indeed!

Every Time I Die released another new track off of the forthcoming New Junk Aesthetic on their Myspace. This is a delightfully pleasant recording, but does anyone else notice a hint of a softer, more commercial sound seeping through? Could this be the beginning of a slippery slope for the southern hardcore mavericks?

This week I discovered that not all Metalcore sucks, with the introduction to my music vocabulary of Burnt by the Sun. Like a darker version of Hatebreed, they keep the breakdowns to a minimum and deliver top notch aggressive metal. I may even put on some big sunglasses and a fake beard (to wear over my real beard) and venture out surreptitiously to but a copy.

Other stuff keeping me happy:

  • No Made Sense with their brutal progressive hardcore and stupid sounding album title
  • Photonic, which has lead me to dust off various albums by Fugazi, Pavement and Guided by Voices
  • Oceansize. Apparently they have an EP out soon.
  • Earth. Slowly I’m getting my head around this most frustrating of bands. Albums Pentastar and Hex are simply beautiful but also infuriating.
  • Revocation. Everyone is carping on about them like infatuated teenagers thanks to Cosmo Lee’s article suggesting that they may be the next great metal band. That’s probably going a bit far at this early stage, but they are pretty good. The guitar solo on Dismantle the Dictator is to die for. No doubt Metal Hammer will be forcing them down our throat for the next 3 years.

The Bad

Desparately naive wannabe journo’s laying into indisputably legendary bands like Black Sabbath. Why on earth would you write such an ill-informed bucket of badger shit is totally beyond me.

Music streaming site Spotify is part owned by the evil overlords of the music industry in an attempt to keep the site afloat in the face of pitiful advertising revenues and in lieu of paying out royalties to the record labels. If this isn’t depressing enough, it sounds like the artists aren’t getting any royalties either and are unlikely to see any dividends when some cash burdened corporate is stupid enough to buy this service which is as likely to see profit as I am likely to turn green and transform into a million dollar bill.

…and the Ugly

This dude bustin’ some classy moves. I have been known to do this after a couple of beverages, which is when it gets truly ugly.

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