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Revocation: Chaos of Forms

With the pounding 'Cretin', 'Cradle Robber', 'Harlot' with its funky slap bass, and the frantic 'Dissolution Ritual' with its jazz-tinged middle section opening this album, Chaos of Forms has little to worry about. With a number of surprises up Revocation's tattooed sleeve, it would be an understatement to say that there's a lot going on in Chaos of Forms. 'Dethroned' is a mass of complex riffs, chords, and rhythms that make this one of the most ambitious tracks of the album and the staccato riffs and elaborate guitar work of 'Reprogrammed' make it a grand closer. The time signature-shifting, two-minute instrumental 'Fractal Entity' is a straight-to-to-point, no bullshit track that shows another side to what these musicians can do. The title track's climbing and intertwining riffs combine with death metal vocals to create something ferocious, particularly when contrasted with the melodic and optimistic instrumental middle section that moves into the elaborately textured coda making it possibly the best track here. There are moments of weakness however. Musically, 'Conjuring the Cataclysm' is a heavy and slow-moving track with an impressive acoustic intro that would be powerful was it not for the vocals, delivered in a style that does the song little justice. Given the outstanding musicianship exhibited on this track, it would have perhaps been better left as an instrumental. Where the gang vocals employed in a few of the other tracks work largely because they're kept to a minimum in 'No Funeral', they don't quite fit and work against the song. And the steadily pounding 'Beloved Horrifier' attempts to do something but somehow fails to deliver, the remarkable whammy bar-abusing lead break being too short to rescue it. The songs aren't bad by any means, they just don't match up to the standard of the other tracks.

Maintaining a ridiculously high level of intensity and pushing the album further into manic riff territory with high-speed solos, sick harmonics and amphetamine-charged drumming, Chaos of Forms is one helluva journey. There are lightning fast riffs, complex chords and rhythms, twisted arpeggios and harmony guitar parts in abundance, as well as extraordinary lead lines, absurdly fast drumming, rabid vocals, funky slap bass, an organ, and a host of other elements that, on repeat listens, make this an album that grows and grows.

Track Listing:

  1. Cretin
  2. Cradle Robber
  3. Harlot
  4. Dissolution Ritual
  5. Conjuring the Cataclysm
  6. No Funeral
  7. Fractal Entity
  8. Chaos of Forms
  9. The Watchers
  10. Beloved Horrifier
  11. Dethroned
  12. Reprogrammed

Added: October 1st 2011
Reviewer: Jason Guest
Related Link: Band Facebook
Hits: 2561
Language: english

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Revocation: Chaos of Forms
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-10-01 19:20:40
My Score:

Chaos of Forms is the third observation from Boston-based thrash metal act Revocation, and a damn impressive one to say the least. Taking the very best of old school thrash metal, neo-thrash, technical death metal, and melodeath, the band seamlessly mixes their influences to a sound that is unique and instantly recognizable. Before Chaos of Forms is over, you'll even here some funky basslines and organ sections! Old school thrash purists may not like the frequent modern implications on Chaos of Forms, but anyone who enjoys top-notch technical thrash metal with a melodic twist should find plenty to enjoy here. Revocation is a band with plenty of tricks up their sleeves, and this currently stands as one of 2011's most unique and impressive thrash metal releases. Fans of the genre shouldn't miss out!

The music here is a bit difficult to pin down, but I guess the best description is technical thrash/death metal. The melodic leads, progressive tendencies, or even the funky section in "Harlot" keep Chaos of Forms from ever coming across as derivative though, and Revocation always sports a sound that is distinctly their own. Even though the music does have an obvious old school thrash metal influence, the sleek and modern production keep Chaos of Forms from ever sounding like something that could be mistaken as an eighties' album. Revocation are also quite skillful musicians, and the band is a very well-oiled and technically outstanding machine - these guys honestly sound like absolute veterans of the genre! This is one of the most talented acts (from a technical perspective, at least) that I've heard in quite a while.

With Chaos of Forms, it seems that Revocation have found the perfect balance between technicality and melody, innovation and familiarity, and complexity and accessibility. This is a near-flawless thrash metal album that features powerful and and extremely heavy compositions from some of the finest musicians in the biz - what more could any fan possibly ask for? Revocation have really won me over with this album, and I'll be eagerly awaiting any future efforts from their direction. 4 stars are very well-deserved in this case. This is one of the year's best modern thrash albums for sure!

Revocation: Chaos of Forms
Posted by Brian Block, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-09-11 18:55:17
My Score:

Revocation is an American thrash metal act that's been around since 2006. They play a sort of melodic thrash metal, which sounds really good and suits the band very well. The album is really an all around effort with three out of the four band members contributing on vocals. This thrash metal band displays a bunch of extras to go along with their standard thrash sound that include some funky slap bass lines, melodic guitar passages that aren't usually found on thrash metal releases, and even an organ section or two.

Usually thrash metal, at least for me, gets kind of boring after awhile, especially on the longer albums, but with this album that doesn't happen at all. Though some of the songs sound very similar there is enough difference that it makes it highly enjoyable. The guitar solo to open up "Conjuring the Cataclysm", for example, is absolutely killer, but other parts of the album sound kind of repetitive. The title track is another great track, perhaps my favorite on the album, with a bunch of awesome guitar solos and great drumming as well. Speaking of the drums, which are played excellently by Phil Dubois-Coyne, the drums on this album are very fast and they meld very well with the guitar work which is lightning fast as well. Besides great drumming and fast guitar work, this album also has some great vocals too. As I mentioned before, three of the band members sing so sometimes it's hard to tell who's singing, but the different vocal styles really help this album out. I really like the vocal parts where all of the band members sing together, even though it sometimes doesn't fit the songs. On a couple of tracks, such as No Funeral, the harmony vocals don't quite fit, but I still like the songs.

This album is in your face right from the start of the album, and it doesn't pull always until the last chord of "Reprogrammed". Filled with cruising guitar lines and staccato riffs that really add flavor to the album this album is highly recommended for any metal fan especially those of the thrash variety. Chaos of Forms easily deserves 4 stars.

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