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Shredding Patiently at the Edge of Sanity - 90%

bayern, February 19th, 2018

These guys later reaped much bigger fame under the name Revocation (six full-lengths released so far), but this recording here seems to deliver the goods in a slightly more convincing manner. Not that the Revocation repertoire is not worthy, on the contrary; the band have managed to rise to the very upper echelons of the technical/progressive thrash/death circuit in the past few years… It’s just that this opus shows a more original and a tad more creative stream of thought…

How does it do that? Well, for one thing, this is a heavy, very patiently woven take on the technical thrash/death metal idea. There’s absolutely no exhibition of rushing it anywhere regardless of the adherence to speed witnessed on a couple of tracks; imagine a choppier, crunchier version of Carcass’ “Heartwork” with a hefty doze of thrash and more prominent bass presence. And perhaps more proficiently executed leads like the ones on the opening "Internally Reviled" which will take your soul, overshadowing the interesting technical rifforamas which experience problems along the way, especially on the shorter numbers where the lead guitar work surprisingly becomes flashier, attracting more attention. Spasms of aggression are inevitable, and "Counterfeit Corporeality" satisfies this need eventually, remaining on the technical side as well, the latter accentuated on the longer and more elaborate "Rite of Initiation", a more modern proposition, too, with some groove sneaking in, but without ruining the monolithic intricate façade, the guys quite expert at using this 90’s gimmick without any fallouts.

Two fast-paced blitzkriegers (“Shadows and Steel” & “Chainsaw Sacrifice Ritual”) follow suit, hectic nervy technicallers with echoes of Atheist before "Caught Beneath Conscience" comes crushing down with more linear, steam-rolling guitars, breaking the elaborate “idyll” for a bit. “Man in the Dark” is a cool serene, semi-balladic instrumental with a great technical pirouette at the end, and the title-track sums up the whole carnival by combining all nuances into one highly entertaining riff-fest which doesn’t last very long (4 min only), consequently producing no dull moment, wrapping it on with style to spare with a great jazz-like epitaph.

The intense shouty death metal vocals seem to be the most ordinary ingredient on this multifarious opus which hits into the heart of the technical death metal brotherhood with its slow burning, plain anti-climactic at times, character. And, when the band decide to notch up the intensity, always as a deviation from the norm, mind you, the results are up there with the best in the fold. This effort is a very good reminder of several forgotten, very gifted acts (Coma, Technakill, Psychithrob, Pendulum) from the North American underground who exhibited similar skills in serving plenty of delightful technical moments for the fans without speeding up much if at all, including a few European visionaries like the Dutch Tefilla and the French Aleister.

The Revocation style is more eventful and more flamboyant, with more ingredients embedded into the volatile structure. Needless to add, speed plays a much bigger role on top of some jazzy/funky quirkiness incorporated on more recent efforts. And yet this opus here weighs more in a way; patience pays off, you know, and it had handsomely rewarded the band during their spawning stages with an excellent launching effort, a seismic behemoth that can be considered the perfect antidote to the insane hyper-fast shredding that’s befalling us on a daily basis nowadays. A nice warning to all boastful high velocity riff-mongers out there…