Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Artist of the Day: Revocation

Key Release: Chaos of Forms (2011)
With so many bands vying for the limelight these days, it’s hard to craft a musical identity that stands out from the crowd. Boston thrash act Revocation has managed to not only be heard over the din, but is starting to turn heads with an eclectic brand of metal rooted in guitarist David Davidson’s studies of jazz and Classical music at Berklee College of Music. Founded as a trio, Revocation unleashed its debut album Empire of the Obscene in 2008, and landed a second haymaker to the jaw with Existence is Futile only a year later. The band’s sophomore effort gained the attention of major publications such as Spin and AllMusic, who awarded the album a stellar 4.5/5 and called it “one of the best pure metal albums of 2009.” Loudwire even went so far as to name the band’s 2009 single “Dismantle the Dictator” one of the fifty best metal songs of the 21st century.

Thanks to Davidson’s astounding guitar chops – MetalSucks crowned him the #1 overall guitarist in modern metal last year – and the Swiss-watch precision of drummer Phil Dubois-Coyne, Existence is Futile powered through dystopian rampages and fist-pumping anthems with the “surgical precision” of the titular mad scientist in Existence highlight “Reanimaniac." After recruiting a second guitarist in Dan Gargiulo, Revocation dropped its third album, Chaos of Forms in 2011 to widespread acclaim and landed a headlining tour with KEN Mode and A Life Once Lost courtesy of multimedia label Scion A/V. Also included in the gig was a five-song EP Teratogenesis, which was handed out at shows and made available for free download to support the tour.

With a new album set for release this June, Revocation seems to be helping bring an old-school swagger back to metal, adding its own flair courtesy of Davidson’s trademark songwriting that’s heavy on dissonance and an ever-shifting tonal center. Fans can argue over who has the edge in a thrash at the moment (West-coast luminaries Vektor and Havok are forging impressive catalogues as well), but Revocation is a band to watch out for as the foursome continues to hone its formidable riff-tastic attack and remind everyone that imagination and technicality can coexist – though peacefully definitely isn’t part of the equation.

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