Revocation – The Outer Ones

In terms of contemporary Death Metal acts, Revocation has been very prominent and a flag-bearer, yet have not always been the most consistent in terms of releases. Always proving very technically and progressively proficient and with a couple of very strong albums, namely 2014’s Deathless (Metal Blade), they can also often felt a bit too clinical and unfeeling on record. Despite this, Revocation is a clearly talented and strong act, and have always threatened to deliver a truly killer album with that sense of urgency; that album being latest effort The Outer Ones (Metal Blade).

On The Outer Ones, Revocation hardly strides into new ventures, but their sound has always had some degree of complexity and diversity and thus continues. Arriving with an impact, opener ‘Of Unworldly Origin’ flies out at breakneck speed and firmly showcases both huge technicality with a strong melodic streak that prevents it from being inaccessible. The following ‘That Which Consumes All Things’ is comparatively a more groove-based monster which still offers impressive intricacy.

The guitar work of Revocation has always been their calling card, and the pair of David Davidson and Dan Garguilo are on excellent form here and show why they up there with the likes of The Black Dahlia Murder (former and current members respectively) Ryan Knight and Brandon Ellis for virtuosity and dynamism in Death Metal. Able to pull off various paces and styles and even some subtle jazz-like passages throughout, the guitar pairing is once again at the forefront, but this time revealing feeling as well as pure technicality.

Whilst they have always been a strong and impressive act, much of Revocation’s previous material has seemed to lack that killing streak and that special something to elevate it’ On The Outer Ones it seems that they have finally properly found that sweet spot, armed as it is with enough catchy material weighed alongside some phenomenal fretworking that makes this feel believable. They haven’t changed their sound as such, and it is hard to pinpoint what the band has done differently here, other than simply improving their songcraft, but altogether this shows just why they are near the top of the summit for modern-day Death Metal.