Chaos of Forms

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Band Name Revocation
Album Name Chaos of Forms
Type Album
Data de lançamento 16 Agosto 2011
Recorded at Damage Studios
Estilo de MúsicaDeath Thrash
Membros têm este álbum109


 Cradle Robber
 Dissolution Ritual
 Conjuring the Cataclysm
 No Funeral
 Fractal Entity
 Chaos of Forms
 The Watchers
 Beloved Horrifier

 Surprise ! You're Dead ! (Faith No More Cover) (Deluxe edition)

Total playing time: 49:12

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Crítica @ StephDS

31 Março 2012

...contemporary, progressive, technical, thrashy death metal at its finest...

I discovered the four member, Boston based group Revocation, at the same time as I discovered their third opus “Chaos of Forms.” Since then I have bought their first self-produced album, Empire of the Obscene (2008), and Existence Is Futile from 2009 when the band signed with Relapse. The evolution, maturity, and symbiosis of the group is manifest and simply put I believe that Chaos of Forms is the best metal album of 2011 (this is a highly subjective assessment that I am unabashedly sticking to!)

In preparing this review I read a few others online, one particularly critical review on, which faults the album for lack of originality and for recycling riffs. But honestly most of the classic riffs have been around for over 30 years; they’ve been used, re-used and re-worked. It isn’t a matter of original riffs; it’s how innovative one can be with what there is. In the case of “Chaos of Forms,” what Revocation have done is produce a solid album chock-full of technically and musically punchy tunes carried by Dave Davidson’s high/low vocal style (reminiscent of The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad) and amazing guitar mastery. I don’t see that it is an effrontery to start the tune “Beloved Horrifier” with what sounds like Judas Priest’s Hellion followed by some à la Metallica guitar? Isn’t imitation is the highest form of flattery? In all forms of art there are winks to the past, why should it be different with metal?

Chaos of Forms” is deceivingly easy to grasp which isn’t to say it is simplistic in any way. Instead it incorporates and assimilates so many musical influences, jazz, blues, rock, that there is inevitably something for everyone. This is a conscious desire on the part of frontman/guitarist Dave Davidson who studied music in an arts high school and has vast musical knowledge. Early on he was drawn to bands such as Pantera, Guns & Roses and Annihilator with legendary guitarists Dimebag Darrel, Slash and Jeff Waters who vastly contributed to the metal genre by creating some of the most memorable bluesy riffs around.

Davidson’s death like vocals have often been criticized as taking away from the music. I believe on the contrary that they give an edge to the album that reminds us, even while we smile during a segment in a song that is totally anachronistic, that we are dealing with a powerful sound. The vocals also underscore the prevalent themes of doom, disillusion, and demise typical of the death/thrash metal register.

On Chaos of Forms, Revocation took on a second guitarist Dan Gargiulo who compliments Davidson and lends more complexity to some of the guitar solos for example on “Cradle Robber.” Yet for all of Davidson’s charismatic dominance of the group, no one instrument overshadows the others thanks to the excellent work of Pete Rutcho who produced the band’s first demo when it changed its name in 2005. The fact that drummer Phil Dubois-Coyne and bassist Anthony Buda have been playing and composing with Davidson since the three were in the eighth grade means that Revocation is incredibly tight and that the enjoyment that this group of friends gets from playing together quite simply jumps out of the album and sucks you in.

Chaos of Forms is contemporary, progressive, technical, thrashy death metal at its finest: honed and effective with catchy choruses, double bass drum beats, dissonant shredding and a smattering of pleasing old-school riffs. Every direction that you hope a song will take it does, from the funky/jazzy guitar solo in “Harlot” to the surprising horn, cow bell and organ segment in “The Watchers.” The listener is hooked after the title track “Cretin,” lifted up into a whirlwind of guitar interplay and not so gently deposited on the ground during the bass-laden last track “Reprogrammed” wishing that there was more. I defy even the most skeptical, quibbling and crusty metalhead not to want to bob their heads at least once. Personally I can’t wait for their next offering, Revocation is the most talented and underrated band around and I have become an unconditional fan.

4 Comentários

3 Like

ZazPanzer - 13 Abril 2012: And now I have to listen to this cd asap. Thanks for the great review. It rocks.
StephDS - 14 Abril 2012: Merci Zaz :) I'm totally enamored of this band!
Crinn - 17 Setembro 2012: excellent review, man
StephDS - 17 Outubro 2012: Or woman in my case :-) Thanks Crinn.
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Crítica @ Crinn

17 Setembro 2012


Combining the likes of thrash metal and technical death, Revocation come back with Chaos of Forms in 2011 with all of the force they’re capable of bringing to their audiences. I’ve seen Revocation live several times since they released Empire of the Obscene and have watched them mature and attract more attention with each release. After they got the attention of the masses in the extreme metal world when they embarked on a tour with Job for a Cowboy, Whitechapel, and Cattle Decapitation and Despised Icon’s farewell US tour, the next thing they had to do was come back with a release like none other they’ve ever brought to the world (which is only two albums). The thing that confuses me is that even though I’m blown away by their energetic performances and blasting technicality, I’ve never really bothered to follow them and actually get to know their music in an up-close manner. That is, until I sat down to review their Existence Is Futile record. After analyzing that album, I realized the pure potential these guys actually possess. Now, it’s time for Chaos of Forms.

Revocation has never been a band to have the same sound for several albums in a row. In other words, each Revocation album sounds different. Empire of the Obscene is more of a traditional thrash death record with some melodic influences, Existence Is Futile has a full-on technical sound with tons of thrash metal influences. Chaos of Forms is something completely different. It still has all of the extremely complex guitar-bass interplay, the hard rock guitar solos, and the extreme thrash metal-style drumming; but it brings a whole different mood to the table that reminds me of a revived old school thrash metal sound that’s been edited and influenced by Gojira, Atheist, Arsis, and Exodus.

The guitars are much less technical on this album than the other two Revocation albums. But don’t take that statement and apply it to the entire album, because the solos are filled with colorful technicality and complexity. Based on what I’m hearing on this album, the bassist plays a less technical part and focuses more on musical creativity and interplaying with the guitars.

Despite their complex compositions and structure, Revocation’s music is fairly easy to comprehend and swallow. Some of the progressive-heads see that as a big no-no, but in this case, it actually works in the opposite way. The band’s extremely catchy hard rock-influenced style (similar to that of DevilDriver) helps the listener to grasp every aspect of their sound almost instantly with no trouble at all, therefore causing the addiction process to begin to commence sooner. When I see something that’s extremely complex, yet easy as shit to grasp, I see a lot of musical knowledge because well…pulling off something like THAT isn’t anywhere NEAR being in the realms of being easy. The addition of the second guitarist helps add complexity to the guitar parts as well as have a soloist that plays with a different style. I know that Revocation has always cited classic rock and jazz as being influences on their sound (especially their solos), but I feel that this album has a stronger rock/jazz feel than any of their other records. Of course, the increased prominence of thrash metal in their music is one of the major causes for the catchiness, but the solos and crisp vocal harmonizations seem to have more of a jazz feel to them than ever before. As well as that, the bassist plays with more of a funky style in songs like Harlot and Beloved Horrifier.

And just by hearing all of this, I can tell that there’s SOME extensive musical knowledge going on here, and as a matter of fact, the vocalist/guitarist has gone through numerous studies of musical theory of all kinds including jazz, rock, blues, and some classical. When I read this, I INSTANTLY understood the reasoning behind all of those bluesy guitar solos that can be heard on all three Revocation albums.

This album is definitely a heavy metal highlight of 2011, there’s no denying that. After showing extensive progression and musical intelligence in each album, does Revocation have the capability of further raising the bar for themselves in the future? This is a must-have for anyone who likes hearing something new. A perfect blend of technicality, thrash, progressiveness, and death metal that has enough of everything to make anyone happy. I would rate this album 19/20 for not only being virtually flawless, but for completely destroying the walls of the realms of extreme metal and being one of the bands that strive to progress and create, not copy and perfect.

1 Comentário

0 Like

freakazoid - 17 Setembro 2012: I has to check this band out!
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