"Deathless" is the 5th full-length studio album by US death/thrash metal act Revocation. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in October 2014. Since their inception in 2006 (they existed from 2000-2006 under the Cryptic Warning monicker), Revocation has moved fast up the popularity ladder and have fine tuned their brand of technically well played death/thrash metal in the process, and with "Deathless" their high profile is bound to be affected in a positive way again.
Revocation have an easily recognisable sound, and you´re never in doubt that it´s them playing, which is a great strength. To create and perform a distinct sounding musical style is probably THE single most important task for any artist but it´s also the most difficult one. Within a relatively conservative and stylistically narrow death/thrash style it´s probably even harder. The music on "Deathless" in many ways resembles a lot of other death/thrash metal with technically well played thrashy riffing and ditto drumming, raw rabid dog snarling vocals/semi-growling, and a strong focus on aggression and energy. Revocation is generally a bit more inventive than most acts in the genre though (and occasionally a bit more melodic too), and their riffs are often pretty adventurous for the style and generally just incredibly catchy and played with an attitude. The very well played and melodic guitar solos, which are basically very fast played blues based solos, that provide the music with a high energy rock´n´roll feeling, not completely unlike Jeff Waters (Annihilator) solos do sometimes, also deserves a mention, as they are a great asset to the band´s music.
The material are generally of high quality. There´s both focus on aggression but also on sophistication in the way the tracks are arranged. Several of the tracks could be mentioned as highlights, but I think some of the more direct and aggressive tracks like "Scorched Earth Policy" and "The Fix" deserve a mention, as well as the instrumental "Apex", which is a track displaying that lead guitarist/vocalist David Davidson could easily release an instrumental guitar album sometime in the future, if he should wish to. In addition to the original material on the 10 track, 48:31 minutes long album, Revocation have chosen to include a cover of "Sworn to the Black" by Morbid Angel on the deluxe version of the album.
"Deathless" features a powerful, clear, and raw sound production too (courtesy of Zeuss, who the band had worked with before on the "Teratogenesis (2012)" EP), which is another asset along with the relatively adventurous songwriting, and the high level musicianship. The sometimes silly progressive excursions, that Revocation have occasionally ventured into in the past, are kept to a minimum on "Deathless" ("Apex" is the track, which features most adventurous ideas, and even that track still works well within the concept of the album), and personally I´m happy they´ve opted to weed out those little tricks, because to my ears those were unneccesary distractions from an otherwise great product. As mentioned the music is still relatively adventurous for the style, but the band have become better with the years to incorporate their most innovative ideas in the basic structures of their songs, instead of having them pop up unexpected to bewilder the listener. Overall "Deathless" is another high quality release by Revocation and a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.