This is Germany’s answer to old school death metal, no stranger to me or Ave Noctum, this is the band’s third full length effort. Whilst the bare rotten bones of the two predecessors reside rather brutally in places, there is an added touch of trying something different with the arrangements, but we’ll get onto that later.
Opening the album is ‘In the Name of the Flesh’ which is totally bloodthirsty and nasty in your face death metal. Powerhouse drumming and that wonderful guitar tones alights your senses. Your faith in the band remains unjaded, they are still damn good at what they do. Now, when I mentioned a difference in the arrangements, I would point to ‘Black Oath Impurity’ and ‘Frozen Majesty’. These are slower, actually a slight touch of doom death atmospherics about them, I remember something similar happening with a previous band that some members were involved with. However, this time, it doesn’t water down the sound. Its earthy, evil low end haunting in fact. You grimace more, you concentrate more when you listen… well at least I do! The Unisound Studio/Dan Swanö collaboration has certainly matured and bore fruit here. A formula that works but its pleasing to hear Revel In Flesh going that bit further and trying a few different arrangement ideas out even if some of the songs are a touch slower, the depth maintains the grit and determination. What I do find is that the kick drum sounds a lot more inclusive with the tracks this time around, on previous releases I have really noticed it, as if it stood out more, this time, it’s perfect. If you are looking for something different, check out Revel In Flesh’s death metal version of Manilla Road’s ‘Necropolis’, this is something you don’t hear every day and thankfully its unique to this band, not a pure cover version.
If you’re not all that cool with this, then don’t worry, the title track and ‘Hurtlocker’ will satisfy your bloodthirst for the heavier and faster at of old school death metal. Haubersson’s vocals seem to have more dynamics too, they are certainly stretched that little bit more on this third release. It is good to hear this, at least we are moving forward with each release. Artwork for the release is once again handled by Juanjo Castellano, a strong statement for some strong un-god like death metal. This is a cover that will look great on a larger vinyl issue.
Moving forward, but not forgetting their roots, Revel In Flesh still stand out from Germany as a high calibre old school death metal artist. It’s no longer a total tribute to the glory days. Revel in Flesh have moved their juggernaut into a higher gear and with each release, the arrangements become stronger even if they are a touch slower in places.
(8/10 Paul Maddison)