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After three albums and several minor releases, I'd got used to Revenge's style of blast-attack-raze (as in raze to the ground) style of black metal so it's a surprise to discover on this fourth album that the guys have actually raised their game to another, higher level. The band's sound is sharper than what I remember and the songs are now long enough to admit the occasional lead guitar solo which, in line with the Revenge take-no-prisoners musical philosophy, pullulates insanely shrill bubble chords as fast as bacteria on speed. The sound actually varies from lawn-mower drone to deep gravel chow-downs. There are strange throaty guttural effects a-plenty on most tracks that sound as if Read got himself a bunch of monster zombie hounds and locked them up in the studio while the band was recording so you hear them groaning and slavering away in the background. He's got reason to defend himself with such canine critters as this album expresses his and the band's general disgust with human "sheeple" weakness.
A dramatic intro with thudding bass drum and crashing riffs, beneath which James Read's voice growls indecipherable sweet-nothings, swings into "Us and Them (High Power)" which, having claimed out attention, rips into a careening zig-zag all over the shop with shrill guitar zips and bash-bash percussion. "Retaliation (Fallout Prayer)" follows immediately after and although it appears an extension of the first track, I can sort of hear a slightly different rhythm (or maybe my mind thinks, this is a new song so it must have a different rhythm!) and there are bits that go hollow and rattling which I've never heard before on any black metal album. (Are Revenge going experimental?) "Parasite Gallows (In Line)" can't wait to get started and finish at the same time so this is another wild tear through nuclear-powered drums, the filthiest, crust-laden guitar chainsaw churn, more lead guitar frothing up like cane toad spawn and deep croaky monster vocal effects. For weird, gravelly sonic texture and creepiness, very few songs can match "Parasite Gallows ..." and this is an early highlight if not the major highlight of the album.
Hardly any time for a breather each time a song ends as Revenge are already into the next one and halfway through it and before long we're close to the last couple of tracks. The singing, if we can call it that, is more deranged and hysterical with every additional track, with more screams and "aaaarghhhs!" The musicianship is surprisingly good when you consider the guys are playing faster than fast and chaotically, and the second half of the album improves on the first with more varied beats and a wide array of effects. "Banner Degradation (Exile or Death)" manages to pack in a slow, almost sludge stomping beat with an industrial edge in among the hyper-fast rhythms and riffing. By "Pride Ruination (Division Collapse)", we're just about ready for anything from Revenge that we haven't heard before and this track turns out to have a real rhythmic groove in parts. The drumming is stuttering hard and cymbals are all but completely berserk. "Scorned Detractor (Trust No One)" sees those half-crazed zombie hounds straining at the metal bars of their cage which increasingly comes close to breaking point while Read screeches himself ragged and the Revenge train races headlong towards the inevitable cliff-top where the sleepers end and below is just vast empty space.
For sheer energy and ferocity, few bands can match Revenge and few can also match the music not just for its aggression and anger but also humour. Read and Vermin really do sound as though they're enjoying every moment bashing out this opus.
Uh, well I was expecting the album to end in fiery and chaotic self-immolation but the conclusion is abrupt and it's me who's fallen off the cliff-top and going down, down, down into empty space while the fellers above are cheering me on!
The dark horse of contemporary Canadian black metal, Revenge probably gets a more outrageously diverse set of reactions than any other band. Their “music” is so unbelievably chaotic, so jaw-droppingly savage, and so bone-crushingly heavy as to strike awe. Utterance of their very name is enough to make even the most hardened extreme music fan shudder. Scum Eradication Collapse, their most recent output, proudly carries on their legacy of delivering unparalleled sonic terror. Just like any album that came before it, Scum is best described as a tortured cadenza of savage, militant drumming, overly-distorted riffing and the crazed, rabid barks courtesy of James Read. It is another uncompromisingly violent album from one of the most polarizing forces in the underground. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone that they’ve accrued a surprising amount of controversy in recent years.
What’s immediately apparent is the upgrade in production values. While past Revenge albums sounded relatively plastic and boxed in, Scum sees the band opting for a distinctively crustier sound. All the instruments are appropriately captured and highlighted but yet sounds ten-fold heavier than past albums. The drums are more prominent in the mix, no doubt highlighting Read’s incredible drumming prowess. I suppose my only qualm is that the vocals are less accentuated and buried this time around. A shame considering Read is arguably the most bat-shit terrifying vocalist now living, black metal or otherwise. Muddled vocals notwithstanding, it’s easily the rawest, crunchiest, nastiest sound they achieved thus far, and I fucking love it.
One of the most startling aspects of Revenge’s sound is the insane, fractured drumming of James Read. I’ve listened to a great deal of extreme music of all genres, and I think it’s safe to say that no one comes close to touching the sheer madness displayed by this man. A sordid mish-mash of thunderous rolls, hyper-violent blasting and abrupt shifts in tempo Read delights in the use of his drum kit and all of its expressive capabilities. Of course, those who are unfamiliar with Revenge would dismiss it as a structural mess. But in Read’s defense I’ll say that from a technical standpoint, his ratio of frantic blasting to more militant, mid-paced stomping, is higher than most drummers, and that there is perhaps a certain compositional validity and aesthetic charm in that. You’ll hear blast-beats played at such varied speeds and at such crazed tempos; it’s almost as if Read overlapped different drum tracks together and replayed it backwards.
As aforementioned, the guitars sound absolutely top-notch. Thanks to Necromorbus Studios, Ross’s signature riffing is caked with even more grime and filth. A core essential to any Revenge album is to have insanely down-tuned guitars, creating a dense, impenetrable wall of static that is nothing short of devastating. From the very first chords of “Us and Them” the listener is smashed headfirst into a wall of thick, viscous noise. Moreover, the Blasphemy-inspired riffs are back in full swing, only this time with a more pronounced doom edge to it. This is not to say Revenge have softened up over the past four years. Far from it. Such an influence only adds to the already weighty and crushingly heavy tone this album exudes.
Scum is not for everyone. Even for most jaded fans, it is an album depraved and extreme beyond belief. Will you enjoy it? Well, it ultimately depends on the type of person you are. If you value disastrous, noisy wrecks like early Nuclear Death and Sadistik Exekution then Revenge has no peer. To say that Scum is decent music burdened by an overly indulgent execution is to miss the point. The execution is the album. There is no way to separate the two. In short, if you're looking to be aurally... not bludgeoned, for "bludgeoned" is too mild a word. If you're looking to be aurally HATEFUCKED, then this album is worth its weight in gold.
Canada war metal band Revenge is one band that one either absolutely loves or hates. James Read and the projects that he has been involved in over the years have quickly become some of my favourite bands, including the excellent Conqueror, with his trademark drumming style being chaotic yet engaging at the same time. Over the years, Revenge has honed their musical style, and 2008's Infiltration.Downfall.Death was perhaps my favourite release by the band thus far. Before the release of Scum.Collapse.Eradication, the departure of Pete Helmkamp (another one of my personal favourite musicians) left me wondering how the album would turn out.
Fortunately, that did not cause much of a difference or diversion from the path that the band has set up with the previous release. Apart from the album artwork and the songtitles that were stylistically similar to Infiltration.Downfall.Death, the similarities extended to the musical style on Scum.Collapse.Eradication as well. The album begins with the doom-paced intro of Us and Them (High Power), and this sounds like a continuation of the previous album. After numerous crazed shrieks and growls at the background, all hell breaks loose Revenge style as the listener is hit by a barrage of the chaotic lead guitars of Vermin. James Read's drumming style and muffled vocals are instantly recognisable, and the music is often punctuated by that inhuman guttural growl/burp at the background to further reinforce the chaos that is already abound.
Of course, with Revenge, one does not expect much variation or flamboyant technical wankery, and one familiar with the band would immediately expect nothing but straight out aggressive and chaotic blackened death metal in the veins of other similar Canadian war metal acts. The consistency in the band's songwriting is especially evident in the lead guitars of Vermin, which at times sound so similar that one wonders if these were recycled off his works on the previous album, though the intention of these solos are clear - with the emphasis on the destruction and lawlessness of the music. Things are at times so predictable that one who has been previously exposed to albums like Infiltration.Downfall.Death can anticipate what comes next and while this typically is the pitfall of most albums, Revenge more than makes up with it through the sheer aggression and energy one feels when listening to the album.
War metal is an extremely interesting genre. Despite the large number of bands that are often lumped together in the genre, each somehow manages to craft out a niche and unique sound of their own, and Revenge is no different. Scum.Collapse.Eradication is the culmination of the band's 4 years of effort, and the 4 year wait has certainly been well worth it, proving why Revenge remains one of the household names of the genre.
Thickly distorted, grinding guitars. Blast beats. Growls and gurgles that spit out presumably violent lyrics you couldn't even begin to decipher. That's Revenge in a nutshell; they don't fuck around in the least, and they don't pretend to. In a lot of ways, Scum.Collapse.Eradication is very similar to their previous album, Infiltration.Downfall.Death, but as is often the case, the devil is in the details. There's something slightly more refined about the chaos on Scum, which is hard to notice at first, but really is what makes the album shine. A plethora of slow, doomy, heavy parts provide respites from the usual grinding, and the song writing is a bit more complex. It's not a radical change, but it turns Scum into an exciting black/death album indeed.
All the pieces and parts here are top-notch. The core of Revenge's sound will always be the bestial grinding of most of their riffs, and those moments are strong here. The riffs will cut right through you with their utter brutallity, and they're thick and meaty due to a great production and complementing bass work. The occasional shredded guitar solo helps things along as well. However, Revenge doesn't leave you wallowing and bored in a sea of high speed riffs. They like to stop and take things slow now and then, grinding you down instead of outright pulverizing you. The break downs and doomier bits are the parts, e.g. the break down in "Parasite Gallows (In Line)" and the groove half-way through "Pride Ruination (Division Collapse)", provide some of the album's strongest moments. These parts show up frequently, adding up to give the album an up and down, rollercoaster feel. The drumming helps immensely too, with breaks from the blast beats changing the feeling of riffs entirely. Then there are of course the vocals, which are an insane mix of screams, growls and deep, goregrind gurgles. Everything is mixed very well, with no part overtaking any other.
Not to say that any of that increased complexity is the end point of the album. Scum.Collapse.Eradication isn't about eight songs, it's about a 36 minute experience. It's very clear from the nearly complete lack of hooks. Revenge aren't friendly, and they're not here to be listenable or pleasant. You fall head first into a Revenge album and let it tear apart your soul, leaving you in a state of exhausted catharsis at the end. The clever little complexities of the album only serve to make the experience even more of a roller coaster, and that's what makes the album work. It also greatly improves relistenability and rewards such repeat listens. Though it's the album's blessing, it is at once Scum's (and Revenge's) weakness at well. Revenge is only really good at providing that one experience, albeit in different forms on each album (and at its best here). I find it satisfying, but many won't, and I'm sure a great deal of people will think it's simply poor songwriting. If this is your kind of music, there's plenty to gorge yourself on, and I find it immensely enjoyable. On the other hand, if Scum.Collapse.Eradiction doesn't sound like your thing, don't expect to be converted.
The production on this record is well-balanced, with plenty of low-end matched by guitars and cymbals which rise above it. Revenge's sound remains remarkably coherent even when everything's blasting; both J. Read's drumming and the lead guitar are equally easy to follow, giving this record surprising depth.
The last record was a little different -- a bit more complex, a bit slower in places -- but on Scum.Collapse.Eradication the band manages to combine that approach with the feral insanity of their first two records, retaining the full impact of both. The result just might be the best Revenge record of all time: packed with crushing slow parts, tempo changes, and surprisingly memorable riffs amidst a torrent of raging, frothing hatred. The vocals are a cut above as well, belched and snarled and bellowed, sometimes pitch-shifted, vomiting pure aggression all over each and every track. "Scorned Detractor" is a perfect example, with a vocal intro that has to be heard to be believed. I don't even miss Pete Helmkamp on this record, and I doubt I'll ever type *that* sentence twice!
This is still Revenge, though, and that means that everyone will either hate it or love it; what you hear is what you get, and what you get is thirty-five minutes worth of pummelling blasts and churning guitars. If that's what you're looking for you'll be well-pleased by this; most of the album is a frantic paean to grinding chaos, especially "Parasite Gallows (In Line)" and "Banner Degradation (Exile or Death)". Not one millisecond of this will be a let-down to anyone familiar with Revenge; as always, the ferocity of this band stands unparalleled. Despite ten years of copycat bands no one has ever managed to outdo Revenge... and if this record is any indication, perhaps no one ever will. Scum.Collapse.Eradication earns my highest recommendation.
Standout tracks: "Parasite Gallows (In Line)", "Pride Ruination (Division Collapse)", "Scorned Detractor (Trust No One)"
Review by vorfeed: http;//www.vorfeed.net
Revenge do not fuck around.
There are a countless number of truly brutal, truly unhinged bands out there, but few can match the napalm-and-vomit that this Canadian duo spew from every orifice. It's all this band know how to do: belch out disgusting abominations that stink of death. Scum.Collapse.Eradication is no different in this regard from any previous Revenge album... in any way.
I know, I know. Revenge are "trve" and "real." Shit like musical progression and exploration are for "posers" and the "untrve." And in many ways that's fine. Some bands find a sound, and stick with it. They make music they want to make for fans who don't want them to change. It's a perfectly harmonious atrocity that never comes off the rails or slows down. Devastation by the numbers; comforting genocide... dependable hatred for humanity. All of this I can understand and even appreciate.
That doesn't mean I can get all the way behind it. Scum.Collapse.Eradication is the definition of competent, and at times elevates itself above it's station. "Parasite Gallows(In Line)" is a crusty slice of Carcass-inspired deathgrind, with completely unhinged guitar solos to boot, that mixes in a heavy dose of Archgoat-style mid paced riffing that does not fail to crush spines. "Filth Solution(Intolerance)" makes maximum use of the pitch-shifted gutturals(lifted right from Reek of Putrefaction) to create a swampy mess of distorted grindcore riffs and Blasphemy-infused hatred. All the stuff you expect from Revenge is here. Which is nice...
But it begs the question, a question I have been finding myself asking a lot lately. Do all bands lend themselves to multiple releases? How many Nile albums do you have to buy before you've gotten enough of the same... exact... sound. Or Amon Amarth? Or Hate Eternal? For most people, including myself, the answer is one(except for Amon Amarth... closer to zero). Revenge are in the same boat. Fact is, if you own any of the previous Revenge albums, then you have already listened to Scum.Collapse.Eradicate. You already have experienced this punishing whirlwind of savagery and blast beats. Which is not to say the album is worthless, and I find this album has my favorite production of all the Revenge albums. It's fun and aggressive and heavy. It's a whole lot of things, most of them good.
But all of them have been done before. So yes, Revenge do not fuck around. Scum.Collapse. Eradicate is deadly serious in every way. It's all about the murder, the mayhem and the hatred... and nothing else.
Originally posted at http://curseofthegreatwhiteelephant.blogspot.com/
Revenge is a Canadian black metal band. Or should I say, bestial black metal. Bestial black metal, to those unfamiliar with the term, is a sub-genre of the black metal sub-genre that features elements from thrash and death, and was pioneered by the likes of Blasphemy, also Canadian. It's usually fast, brutal, and full of black rage and hatred. If you've heard any other release by Revenge, then you'll find absolutely no surprises here. But it's a good thing, really. There are always bands that expand the boundaries of the genre, but not many bands actually pull it off well. Revenge does.
Spewing vitriol in a vehement take on blackened death with a punky edge, accompanied with vocals that sound like a pack of wolves gnawing ravenously at a pillow. Anti-human riffs and odd (or nonexistant) structures that occasionaly burst into random solos with insane and relentless blast beats, this is nihilistic rage personified. You'll find no difference in the songs here, as they're usually the same merciless skirmishes on your aural temples. After a couple of listens, though, you'll somehow tell each song apart, whether by a small riff here, or a noisy bit there. That's irrelevant though; one does not simply listen to bestial black metal for the songwriting. One listens to it because he likes his metal raw, noisy, inexorable, and blasphemous to the bone. This album doesn't sound like it's eight different songs, but a single assault on everything you know. The only track that stands out here is "Scorned Detractor (Trust No One)," for some reason.
So if you don't like chaotic walls of noises full of rabid dogs barking as they gnaw your flesh while wardrums play to the sound of an army marching towards a peaceful village to rape and pillage, don't waste your time on this. You'll just get mad at people. But if you do like incoherent blitzkriegs, anything Revenge has done up to this point, any other bestial black metal band has done, listen to this.