David Davidson of Revocation is one of our favorite people in all of metal. We have followed his entire career, and you will be hard pressed to find a person this talented that is also humble and cool. We caught up with Dave at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, New York to chat with him about the brand new album The Outer Ones, releasing from Metal Blade Records on September 28th. We talked about the decidedly brutal death metal sound of the new album, working with producer Chris “Zeuss” Harris, H.P. Lovecraft and Tom Strom‘s insane artwork, Dave’s guitar practice regimen, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, and more. Interview by Keefy with videography by Omar Cordy of OJC Photography.Continue reading
Formed after the demise of Burnt By The Sun, River Black release their eponymously titled debut on Season of Mist with a line up featuring Mike Olender, John Adubato and Dave Witte of Burnt By The Sun, and joined by Brett Bamberger of Revocation.Continue reading
What do you get when you combine three former members of Burnt By The Sun with the major rager from Revocation? The answer is River Black, and the music is just as awesome as you would expect it to be. Continue reading
Formed in 2000, Boston act Revocation have come along way since starting life under the rather uninspiring name of Cryptic Warning. Sounding like a particularly vicious blend of Sepultura and Pantera, the band were already exhibiting great technical skill, but changing both their direction and name in 2006 took things to the next level. Two years later they unleashed their début album, the self-released Empire of the Obscene, and the transformation was astonishing.
Effortlessly combining Technical Death Metal and Thrash, the band released four more albums, each one just as blistering as the last, but moving forwards each time, adding more melodic, Jazz, and traditional metal aspects along the way without losing any of their signature attack.
Now, there comes a time when after a number of well-received releases, a band will eventually feel a backlash. Well, if Revocation are to be on the end of such a thing, then it certainly won’t be with this album as Great is Our Sin (Metal Blade) is every bit as good as their previous five albums. Picking a highlight is a ridiculously difficult task as virtually everything hits the mark perfectly, but listen out for the Steve Vai-esque guitar solo on ‘Monolithic Ignorance’, Brett Bamberger‘s bass line at the beginning of ‘Crumbling Imperium’, and the drums on, well… everything. Anyone concerned about 3 Inches of Blood drummer Ash Pearson not being up to the task of stepping into the formidable shoes of Phil Dubois-Coyne can stop worrying right now.
The guitar work here is sensational; Dan Gargiulo and vocalist/founder member David Davidson utilising many different styles to get their point across without ever feeling forced or awkward. Oh, and just when you think it can’t get any better, here comes Marty Friedman with a guest spot on the quite brilliant ‘The Exaltation’.
Being overly critical, it could be said that Zeuss‘s production maybe isn’t quite as crisp as it could be, and although well played, the cover of ‘Altar of Sacrifice’ by Slayer is exactly what it is – a bonus track. Overall though, Great Is Our Sin is yet another triumph by Revocation. A thundering wall of sound replete with Jazz breaks, virtuoso solos, inhuman vocals, and an abundance of influences. Everyone from Iron Maiden and Testament to Gojira, Cynic and Gorguts and in between. And more.
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Publicist UK’s sound is not what I expected to hear when first seeing internet headlines of a group featuring bassist Brett Bamberger of Revocation and drummer Dave Witte formerly of Burnt by the Sun and currently Municipal Waste (among 2,000 other bands). I’ve listened to Forgive Yourself (Relapse Records) three times already today and I’m still slightly surprised by the sound. The compositions here are lush, moody, and at more often than not beautiful.
It’s the kind of music that the cool kids on college radio play while wearing obnoxious hats and chastising Interpol for “selling out.” And I like it. A lot.
Rounding out this supergroup is Goes Cube guitarist David Obuchowski and Freshkills vocalist Zachary Lipez. If you, like myself, are a fan of lower voice ranges, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised with Lipez’s haunting baritone. It alters from Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy to Joy Division’s Ian Curtis while also summoning sounds not unlike Type O Negative’s Peter Steele. Lipez has sounded strong on Freshkills releases, but here he sounds fully committed to the performance.
‘Blood Relative’ and ‘I Wish You’d Never Gone to School’ are world weary and almost shoegaze in nature. Think Deafheaven, but without the black metal edge. Music that can maintain its dark heart all the while remaining tuneful and soothing. Even old man Morrissey would nod his stubborn head to these songs.
Acting as counterbalance to the gloominess is a heavy guitar chug that wouldn’t be out of place on a Helmet record on tracks like ‘Slow Dancing to this Bitter Earth’ and ‘Levitate the Pentagon.’ ‘Away’ closes out the affair while making good use of that heavier dynamic and even throwing in some of Witte’s famous double kick-drums without feeling out of place.
When I cranked this album on my laptop the last thing I expected was the musical equivalent of Joy Division on a collision course with Cave In, but what a lovely wreck it turned out to be.
Publicist UK are an intriguing combo which see Dave Witte (Discordance Axis, Municipal Waste drummer) joining forces with Revocation bassist Brett Bamberger and team up with Distant Correspondent’s David Obuchowski and former Fresh Kills mouthpiece Zachary Lipez.
It would be natural to expect pounding rhythms and adrenaline fuelled blasts, especially considering the rhythm section. Only that couldn’t be further from the agenda. Instead gothic post-punk is the order of the day, with the spectre of the late 70s looming largely over the two tracks present here. The sound of the band is decidedly British in its choice of influences, reeking of decaying Chameleons and Fields Of The Nephilim records. “I love it when you talk real politics!” Lipez pines like Andrew Eldritch reciting the works of Fredrik Engels.
Original Demo Recordings (Static Tension) is the kind of effort fans of recent death rock troubadours such as Beastmilk may lap up, although Publicist UK are more retrospective in their style and the reverb and treble heavy production; Spiralling melodies are interwoven amongst the effortless performance of Witte, who provides a solid backbone, largely sitting back to support the song. His pulsing sixteenths accenting every nuance of ‘Slow Dancing To This Bitter Earth’ while Lipez repeats the hypnotic mantra of a chorus over jangling riffs to great effect.
They also use the music as a platform to hit out at faux social rebellion. “Wave a red flag and decorate your handbag” snarls Lipez on the latter number, clearly using it to take a swipe at insincere political campaigners who do much complaining but little to change the systems in which they live.
Since this tempting morsel has been delivered, the group have taken up residence on Relapse Records and are working on a full length. Given the murky depths this release mines, it will be interesting to see if they can progress as strongly as they have started.
Publicist UK, featuring Dave Witte (drums – Municipal Waste), Brett Bamberger (bass – Revocation), David Obuchowski (guitars – Goes Cube) and Zachary Lipez (vocals – Freshkills), have confirmed their debut release of a 7″ limited edition single, Original Demo Recordings.
The single features the songs ‘Slow Dancing To This Bitter Earth” and “Never Gone To School”, and will be released by Static Tension Recordings on 17 February 2015.
Most surprisingly, considering the day jobs of some of the members, there is nary a hint of distortion in the sound, with Publicist UK plying a Death Rock trade with strong Goth and Indie influences.
The band had never actually met prior to forming, nor had, apparently, discussed direction before writing the songs which will make up their as yet untitled debut album, released on Relapse in the Spring of 2015, with further details being announced in the new year.