Sound: When "No Funeral" leaked back in July/August (don't remember which), I knew right away that Revocation's third studio album, "Chaos Of Forms", was going to be one that I absolutely had to get. And it turns out, I was 100% right. David Davidson is arguably not only the best guitarist in metal today under the age of 30 (Chris Broderick of Megadeth and John Petrucci of Dream Theater still have him beat but that's damn good company to be in), he might be the best song writer.
Just listen to the title track for evidence of that. The first 2 minutes are some of the hardest hitting minutes of metal that I've heard in the past few months, and with all the releases that have come out (Megadeth, Anthrax, Evile, Warbringer, Mastodon to name a few) that's saying something, but then at the halfway point, the song turns into a proggy jam that is, in a word, beautiful. It doesn't fit at all but at the same time makes perfect sense. The song "The Watchers" has a bluesy keyboard break that could have fit in a Deep Purple song, "Dissolution Ritual" bounces from an incredibly catchy metal riff to slow, melodic solo sections that almost have a waltz type feel to them, "Beloved Horrifier" sounds like a Judas Priest song if Rob Halford had been into Death Metal. Literally every song has something you can enjoy or appreciate, and Revocation deserves much more attention then they are getting.
Before this album, Revocation had been a three-piece: David Davidson (who, on top of being an incredible guitarist, also handles lead vocal duties), Bassist Anthony Buda (a very solid bassist who handles backing vocals), and Drummer Phil Dubois-Coyne, who is, in my opinion, one of the fastest/best drummers in metal today. His fills are absurdly fast (just listen to the first minute of "Harlot" and "No Funeral"). But for this album they added a 2nd lead guitarist, Dan Gargiulo. His playing fits with Davidson's perfectly; guitar solos now have harmonies and it is f--king awesome. He also does vocals for the song "Conjuring The Cataclysm", which starts out with a slow and somber guitar riff, but then turns into a song that hits you incredibly hard. The solo is epic as hell. I've seen live videos of him and Davidson doing solo exchanges; it's incredible. They sound just like the record. I look forward to seeing them live. // 10
Lyrics: Davidson's vocals are typically Death metal growling, but unlike other death metal bands you can actually understand the lyrics. Not that they all make sense ("Conjuring The Cataclysm" is, as Davidson puts it, "is about summoning demons, and then getting wasted and partying with them. And then one of the hot chick demons has sex with you, and it's awesome!"), but at least you can understand the lyrics as opposed to having to look them up. I give Davidson, Buda, and Gargiulo credit because they also play guitar/bass while singing, and considering the type of stuff Davidson and Gargiulo are playing that's quite impressive. I have to say though, the clean vocals are somewhat disappointing on this record. They fit the songs, yes, but I'm not all that impressed with them. It's a mild complaint though, the vocals on this record are solid all-around. // 9
Overall Impression: Revocation is awesome. There really isn't much else to say about them. They are awesome guys who make awesome music. Make sure you get this album one way or another. Drummer Phil Dubois-Coyne has said to get this album anyway you can. He doesn't even care if you download it illegally (he has been quoted saying this), just as long as you get it and go to their shows. I must say that I agree with him, although I happily gave them my money. I typically don't listen to a lot of music with Death Metal elements but I think Revocation is the exception to the rule. They stay diverse in their song writing which is probably why I like them so damn much. Make sure to go into this album ready for anything, because Davidson has done solos in all kinds of ways.
I mentioned up above that there are sections to some of the songs on this album that don't necessarily make sense at all, but Davidson not only makes it work, he makes it sound f--king awesome. Any prospective metal guitarist should have this as a reference album. Drummers should get this and take notes because the drumming is absolutely ruthless. I haven't said a whole lot about the bassist but don't count him out. Buda's playing really shines on a few of the songs on here, particularly "Harlot" and "The Watchers". By far and away though, my favorite song on the album is "No Funeral". It's hard, it's fast, it's catchy, there is shred, there are blast beats, there isn't much on this track that I can really say is bad. It's metal to the extreme. It's definitely an album you should pick up and I can't wait to see what Revocation does next. // 9