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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Reviews: Revocation, Blizzen, Dream The Electric Sleep

Revocation: Great Is Our Sin (Metal Blade)

There's a part in the second Ghostbusters, where Bill Murray (Venkman) is explaining why Viggo is so angry, he blames it on Carpathian Kitten Loss, then tries to paint the kitten into the painting. Now this scene gives the perfect excuse why Revocation play music ripped from the bowels of hell, they too must be experiencing Carpathian Kitten Loss. The Boston technical death metal four piece play music that is a guitar fan's wet dream, full of complex polyrhythms, dual guitar interplay, face-melting leads, battering ram kick drumming and wide range of guttural screams that above all still gives an audible lyrical recognition. Not that you couldn't guess the lyrical content it's horror, war, death, pestilence, politics and religion the standard cheery subjects built upon some tasty musicianship with the guitar/bass interplay absolutely astounding as David Davidson (guitar), Dan Gargiulo (guitar) and Brett Bamberger (bass) weave in and out of each others riffs, meshing together perfectly for the tenacious thrash, galloping classic metal and even the occasional hard rock power chord that makes up this album.

With so much going on from the string instruments and the violent vocals of Davidson you'd often forget about the drumming however Ash Pearson remains vital to the sound throughout his drumming more than a match for his predecessor, founding member Phil Dubois-Coyne. Great Is Our Sin is another intense listening experience from the Boston natives with Davidson's guitar solos greatly impressive so much so that you can't see the join when the shredmaster general Marty Friedman joins in on The Exaltation, from the opening shredfest of Arbiters Of The Apocalypse, through first single Communion right until the closing moments of Cleaving Giants Of Ice (which drives into the 100 mph cover of Slayer's Altar Of Sacrifice) this record is a non-stop technical metal masterclass, whatever the cause of this aggression is Great Is Our Sin is the cat's pajamas (Pun intended). 8/10

Blizzen: Genesis Reversed (High Roller Records)

Another High Roller Records release and once again it's traditional metal of the highest quality, Germans Blizzen are a twin axe toting, drum blasting, bass galloping classic metal and their debut full length is a proto-thrash, speed metal triumph. The four men are all killer musicians and the opening track Trumpets Of The Gods and follow up Masters Of Lightning are really show you what the band are about with Teutonic speed on the latter and a chunky NWOBHM sound on the former. Yes the lyrics are generic but they are played with pure passion and this is reflected by the strength of the songs, similar to bands such as Enforcer and Cauldron there is the strong scent of denim and leather but the rampant retroism on this record is a very much welcome from the squealing solos, to the piercing vocals the old school sound is done with class. Genesis Reversed is a strong debut for a band that have only been around for two years and it shows real promise. 7/10     

Dream The Electric Sleep: Beneath The Dark Wide Sky (Mutiny Records)

I think I probably owe DTES an apology, back in 2011 I reviewed their debut and it made my top 10 of that year, however when they released their previous record Heretics I ruefully overlooked it on the blog, so to make amends I picked up that record and this their newest release and I'm glad I did as it's got all of the hallmarks that drew to to the band to begin with but with a more mature sound. DTES are a hard band to categorise but the core of their sound is in the classic prog of experimental bands such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Genesis (pre -Duke) as well as the more modern soundscapes of Radiohead and 90's shoe-gazers Catherine Wheel with touches of the heartfelt emotion of U2 and even The Foo Fighters.

This indie-prog/post rock three-piece is made up of Matt Page on vocals/guitar, Joey Waters on drums and Chris Tackett on bass and the sounds that the trio make are impressive by anyone's estimation but as the melodic beauty of Drift starts the record it's quite clear that the three men are immeasurably talented, Drift builds in layers having the kind of sound that Coldplay bring, as it builds it explodes into Let The Light Flood In which conjures the more modern power rock sound of bands such as Coheed & Cambria and more definitively 3.

Like I've said with a melting pot of influences DTES albums are always a real treat to listen to and they stand up to the modern genre leaders such as Steven Wilson, portraying the same kind of hurt, love, passion and longing he can, most notably the passionate and percussive Flight which is built on Water's and Tackett's rhythmic genius, while We Who Blackout The Sun merges Floydian guitar playing with the instant encompassing sound favoured Anathema. I think I've been an idiot for missing Heretics however I'm extremely glad I haven't missed Beneath The Dark Wide Sky as it reaffirms my love for this band, it's brilliant piece of work from a band that should be much more recognised and respected than they are, hopefully this will help. 9/10

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