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Revenge Prevails - False Hope Cruelty - 80%

Edmund Sackbauer, May 3rd, 2021
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Independent (Digipak, Limited edition)

After having enjoyed the latest full length “Habitats” by the Swedish black/death masters Revenge Prevails quite a bit I went on to check out its predecessor “False Hope Cruelty”. This one has also been the band’s second full length, released back in 2017. Clocking in at 77 minutes of playing time this one is quite a meaty piece of music so it takes a while to get through. While not as refined and polished as “Habitats” there are a lot of good things to be found on this album as well, with all the trademarks of the band being present.

The guitar work is switching between stoic and brooding parts and faster and more aggressive sections. There is a certain melodic factor in the music but not always so much at the surface, more subtly woven into the overall sound. There are a few slower pieces where the slightly melancholic guitar sound helps creating an eerie and depressing atmosphere. The interaction between straight main riffs and short and some more extended lead guitar parts make up for some interesting moments. The guitars might the stars of the show with some nice variation to be found within the thrashy basic chops and the more melodic lead parts.

The drumming is fine as well, offering well considered patterns that enhance the guitar work with a generous use of cymbals and blasts rather than just presenting a permanent onslaught. Although some of the song structures are a bit more complex and intricate than your average black/death metal track there is always a certain level of groove incorporated within the music. A times Revenge Prevails lose themselves a bit during the build-up or withing certain sections which they use to connect the straighter parts of one song.

The mentioned stoic main chords can be found in each of the songs, accompanied by the steely sound of the drums. The vocals are more less genre standard and offer a mixture of growls and some fierce black metal barking, but I assume that fans of this style will be more than pleased as they perfectly fit into the bigger picture. In a few moments some female vocals are also thrown into the mix. The guitars carve with a gnarly, noxious tone, and they offer enough drive to keep the listener interested. In a few sections the melodies drift into more abstract and unusual territory, something that Revenge Prevails have expanded on later on their newest output.

The sound is pretty raw and scream “self-recorded”. Especially directly compared to its successor “False Hope Cruelty” feels a bit rough around the edges. Together with the hefty length, the sometimes murky song structures and the fact that some of the ideas have been stretched pretty heavily this is not always an easy listen and has the potential to become tiresome in case you are not in the right mood. That surely sounds more negative than it should as all in all this is still a very interesting album and easily worth owning in your collection. However, Revenge Prevails did the absolutely right thing on their next release by trimming some fat, getting a more dynamic sound and come to the point a bit quicker. Still give this one a listen and check out Revenge Prevails, they clearly deserve it!