Friday, August 9, 2013
Revocation - Teratogenesis EP (2012)
"The Grip Tightens" is one such case, an onslaught of melodic and catchy riffing which bridges the band's US thrash influences with their Swedish melodeath counterparts. One of the guitar progressions here pre-chorus is a bit generic and predictable, but once they hit the mood of that chorus it's even easy to forgive Davidson's barking, which to be fair is stronger and NASTIER sounding here than on several of their full-length efforts. They've even got a breakdown in there for all you At the Gates/Black Dahlia Murder fans, and as usual the lead sequence is extremely well dispensed. Another contender is "Maniacally Unleashed" a slightly tech thrashing beast in which the opening notes just pop into you like a scalpel, and then it picks up into an even more intense piece with blasting, wailing micro-solos and a great bridge. The riffs here are note-for-note superior to anything off their latest album (Revocation s/t), though I didn't love the vocals. I wasn't as convinced with the other tracks, but "Spurn the Outstretched Hand" and "Bound by Desire" were at least as solid as much of the material on Chaos of Forms; the latter bordering on a tech black/death hybrid with lots of blasting and tremolo melodies (but not exemplary for the style).
Production here is comparable to the records sandwiching it, pretty dry and effective without a lot of effects saucing up the guitars where unnecessary. This was also a nice place to introduce new bassist Bramberger, who does run rampant at a few opportunities, but often falls behind some of the rhythm guitars in "Spurt the Outstretched Hand" or "The Grip Tightens" to the degree that you forget he's even there. Drums are intense and admittedly, Dave's vocals are about half on fire and half their debilitating selves (so much less compelling than the music that they can seem obstructive). The few, cleaner, backing lines add a nice, numbing effect to the choruses without lapsing into shitty mallcore like Killswitch Engage. Lyrics remind me of Immolation or Suffocation, political in scope but packed with a few instances of death metal grandeur and gore, a bit hard to chew when you realize these are East Coasters who probably get breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts (or your local equivalent). But, hey, suspension of disbelief, right? Teratogenesis is pretty damn solid, and you cannot beat the price. Nothing amazing, but a great way to 'sample' the band, and if you like this you'll want to track down their sophomore Existence is Futile with haste.
Verdict: Win [7.25/10]