Boston’s Technical Death/Thrash Metal titans Revocation are back again and adding their latest effort into what has been a packed 2018 in terms of album releases, both released and upcoming. Whilst people have been heaping praise on bands like Behemoth and Anaal Nathrakh, something far more sinister, malevolent and heavier has been lurking in the depths and on the edges of our perceptions. Whilst “God = Dog” garners attention, the follow-up to 2016’s phenomenal release “Great Is Our Sin” is ready to show the world the true horrors what lurk beyond our comprehension and what happens when technical death metal, thrash metal and progressive metal inspirations sounds like when it is done right. The Outer Ones are here.
“Of Unworldly Origin” is a fitting song title and the correct choice to act as the opening track. A wall of highspeed buzzsaw riffs, fuelled by blast beats and delivered with enough venom to down a blue whale, followed by a massive sounding, low-end friendly tight DM groove acts as the quick one-two combo to start the music off and the surprise attack works. Trying to keep up with the flawless transitions from chaotic to ordered whilst the piercing growled vocals hammer away is a tough task, adding in the flashes of flair and complexity, courtesy of the lead sections and impressive composition, it’s easier to just get blown away by the sheer display of power and musical prowess. It is a very typical musical statement from Revocation and it is a fine indicator of what awaits on the rest of the release.
The atmospheric and ominously named “That Which Consumes All Things” follows and of serves as a solid example of the progressive elements which have influenced Revocation on this release. Complex sequences of music, stabs of dissonance and atonal jarring and a prominent bassline give a real edge to this heavy track. The progressive elements continue to appear as the release progresses; “Fathomless Catacombs” has a big fusion DM vibe which is very Cynic-esque and gets delivered with the uncompromising edge Revocation are known for. Intricate and flowing sequences give way to raw riffing and the intense dynamic the turbulent rhythm section brings makes this a track which really stands out. Title track “The Outer Ones” boasts a highly proficient execution of mind bending composition, the guitar parts are incredible from all perspectives and the fluidity of the delivery can only be appreciated once you hear it. Instrumental track “Ex Nihilo” is another Cynic styled offering which offers entropic-laden feel with high levels of musical order, a slight paradox in someways, but a formidable juggernaut of a track, especially when the heavy section round the 2:30 mark hits!
From start to finish, “The Outer Ones” is a fantastic release. It builds on the groundwork 2016’s “Great Is Our Sin” laid out, and expands on it, maintaining the intensity and raw edge whilst adding in more complexity and expressive moments, a blend which many bands fail to get right when they dabble in the progressive arts. With this finely turned balance and their uncompromising sound, Revocation have easily released a front runner for best Death Metal release of 2018 and possibly an outsider for album of the year!