REVOCATION — Netherheaven (review)

REVOCATION — Netherheaven album cover Album · 2022 · Technical Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Nightfly
There are probably not too many bands that have reached their eighth full length album without at least one of them being a dud. Such a band that has is USA tech death/thrashers Revocation. Inevitably some are better than others but each and every one of them is still a quality release. Their music whilst always complex as already mentioned incorporates both thrash and death metal with earlier releases leaning more to the thrash spectrum and later more towards death, particularly on their last album The Outer Ones though the lines between the two are often minimal and blurred. Like The Outer Ones, Netherheaven has more of a death leaning.

Netherheaven effortlessly maintains the high standards the band has set themselves. As always the music is busy, complex and for the most part fast perfectly demonstrated on opener Diabolical Majesty. It’s a killer that fans of the band will immediately enjoy and instantly recognisable as Revocation’s signature style. Lessons In Occult Theft is equally good as it twists and turns with constant rhythmic shifts and a collection of killer riffs overlaid by David Davidson’s harsh vocal delivery. This time around he is the sole guitarist but you wouldn’t notice the difference but how this will work live I’m not sure as this music really needs a dual guitar line-up. A second guest guitarist would be the way to go. The guitar solos are well written and executed, injecting some melody alongside the brutal riffing which as always is inventive and compelling with added dissonance for good measure. It’s not all Bludgeon though with Galleries Of Morbid Artistry adding some welcome light and shade for example. Once again the rhythm section of Brett Bamberger and Ash Pearson put in a masterly performance and in sync with Davidson’s complexities. Being a drummer myself I always look forward to hearing Pearson’s playing and he doesn’t disappoint here.

Because there’s a lot happening on Revocation albums they always take quite a few plays to reveal themselves fully. Great Is Our Sin remains a high point and benchmark for me but Netherheaven is another solid addition to the bands output though not quite reaching the heights of that masterpiece. Nevertheless it’s another essential album in their catalogue, one I’m more than happy with and will certainly be high on my albums of the year list in a few months’ time.
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