Revocation is an American technical death metal/thrash metal band. Characterized by their highly eclectic
sound that combines elements of countless metal and non-metal genres, as well as frontman David Davidson's unique, versatile guitar style, Revocation has made a tremendous rise in a short period of time, having netted a lucrative contract with heavyweight metal label Relapse Records, as well as embarking on numerous high-profile tours, and it doesn't look as if they're going to stop any time soon.
Formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 2006 from the ashes of Cryptic Warning, the initial lineup consisted of David Davidson (guitars, vocals), Anthony Buda (bass, vocals), and Phil Dubois-Coyne (drums), the group released a three-song demo that same year and quickly made a name for themselves in the Boston area, being a local favorite at bars and basement booze-ups alike. They later went on to self-release Empire of the Obscene
, their first full-length, in 2008; it launched to very positive reviews that, along with the subsequent self-financed tour, were enough to attract the attention of Relapse, who promptly signed the band. Their drive further enhanced, they released their follow-up, Existence is Futile
, in 2009. Everything continued to go smoothly, and the band added Dan Gargiulo (guitars, vocals) in 2010 in order to expand their options both in the studio and live. This slightly altered lineup would then go on to release Chaos of Forms
in 2011. Things kept moving forward until sometime in 2012, when Anthony quit the band to pursue a musical career of his own; replacing him was Brett Bamberger of East of the Wall fame. This new lineup quickly released Teratogenesis
, a free EP, in September 2012 through Scion A/V; as of the writing of this article, they just started a two-part US tour with A Life Once Lost and KEN mode for the first half, with the Faceless and The HAARP Machine taking over for the second leg. Not bad for a few boys from Boston (and Jersey, in Brett's case).
In August 2013, the band released their self-titled
fourth album. After their contract with Relapse expired, they signed with Metal Blade Records in 2014 and released Deathless
, their fifth full-length, that same year.
- Empire of the Obscene (2008)
- Existence is Futile (2009)
- Chaos of Forms (2011)
- Revocation (2013)
- Deathless (2014)
- Summon the Spawn (2006) - demo
- Pull the Plug (2011) - Death cover, limited-release 7" flexi-disc through Decibel Magazine
- Teratogenesis (2012) - EP released for free download through Scion A/V
This band contains examples of the following tropes:
- Agent Peacock: Phil, Phil, PHIL.
- All Drummers Are Animals: Phil has a powerful, energetic playing style that is coupled with his infamous offstage antics and bawdy sense of humor.
- Audience Participation Song: "Dismantle the Dictator".
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Phil has a strange and frequently perverse sense of humor.
- Cover Version: "Death in Vain" (Exhorder), "Pull the Plug", "Surprise! You're Dead!", "Dyers Eve", and "Sworn to the Black".
- Darker and Edgier: Teratogenesis, which was noticeably more death metal-leaning than the previous albums. Deathless appears to go even further in this direction.
- Eldritch Abomination: Some of the characteristics of the titular monster in "Leviathan Awaits" certainly evoke this, while the creatures from "The Watchers" seem to be the Fungi of Yuggoth. Finally, "A Visitation" appears to be about a reality incursion by beings akin to this.
- Epic Rocking: "Exhumed Identity" (6:52), "Suffer These Wounds" (6:11), "Tragedy of Modern Ages" (7:03), "Madness Opus" (6:23), and "Witch Trials" (6:03).
- Genre Roulette: Existence had elements of this, but Chaos really brought this out. You have straightforward technical death ("Cretin", "Beloved Horrifier", "Reprogrammed"), progressive death ("Dissolution Ritual", "Conjuring the Cataclysm", the title track, "The Watchers"), a straightforward death/thrash track ("Harlot"), a heavily power metal-influenced song ("Cradle Robber"), a Megadeth-esque technical thrash song ("No Funeral"), something that could've been a lost Coroner track ("Dethroned"), and a technical instrumental in the vein of Spastic Ink ("Fractal Entity").
- Heavy Meta: "Deathless", primarily in regards to the touring life.
- Instrumentals: "Alliance and Tyranny", "Stillness", "Enter the Hall", "Across Forests and Fjords", "Fractal Entity", and "Spastic".
- In The Style Of: "Fractal Entity" and "Spastic" are technical instrumentals in the style of Spastic Ink (who were a huge influence on the band as a whole, especially on Dave, who worships Ron Jarzombek), which the latter's title hints at.
- Lead Bassist: Anthony Buda was a Type B.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Hard 9 for the most part, soft 10 on the heavier songs. Their absolute heaviest tracks ("Empire of the Obscene", "Reprogrammed", "Teratogenesis", "Madness Opus") are easily a solid 10.
- Melodic Death Metal: Particularly from Teratogenesis onwards as they've steadily moved away from thrash.
- Metal Band Mascot: Unofficially, there's Hoss the giant dildo, the likes of whom is primarily used for pranks on other musicians.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: As the years have gone on, they've thrown in tons and tons of genres and made them work. In addition to death and thrash, they've used jazz fusion, blues-rock, Southern rock, funk, surf, post-metal, 80s shred, 70s hard rock, progressive rock, bluegrass, and even some Tower of Power-esque horn sections.
- New Sound Album:
- Existence increased the melody a bit and included a wider variety of genres.
- Chaos majorly amped up their Genre Roulette and Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly tendencies.
- Teratogenesis completely dropped the eclectic focus of previous albums and went for a more straightforward technical death sound, as well as being their first album to make use of seven-string guitars, the likes of which were used in a manner suggestive of a Nevermore influence.
- The self-titled brought back a little bit of the eclecticism present on Chaos while still going with the heavier, darker feel of Teratogenesis.
- Deathless further expanded upon the death metal leanings that Teratogenesis established while also taking an even more technical turn overall, in addition to dialing down the genre-hopping.
- No Export for You: Their cover of Exhorder's "Death in Vain", which was a Japanese bonus track on Existence, as well as their cover of "Dyers Eve" on the self-titled, but that is slightly subverted insofar as the Japanese version of the self-titled was also offered in the US in very limited quantities as a preorder.
- Old Shame: Their Cryptic Warning days, to some degree; they're not too happy with them, but it's less about the music itself and more about the naivety and lack of foresight they displayed, culminating in the less-than-stellar production job of their full-length that was due to their picking the first producer that they found regardless of his actual experience with metal.
- Signature Style: Heavily riff-based music with riffing that runs the gamut from crushing, mosh-friendly death metal to laid-back, jazz fusion-tinged progginess, noticeable melodic overtones, technical, melodic soloing that owes as much to fusion as it does to Shrapnel Records-style shred, and vocals that usually stick to a mid-ranged shout along with occasional gutturals or shrieks. Also expect lots of genre hopping and major tempo changes.
- Special Guest: Jon Rice filled in for Phil on a US tour with Crowbar after Phil broke his arm.
- Start My Own: Subverted with Dan and Artificial Brain, as they were around before he joined Revocation. That being said, they never released anything prior to Dan joining the latter, so you could be forgiven for thinking that he started the former as a side project.
- Technical Death Metal: Natch.
- Thrash Metal: Part of their overall sound, especially early on. This has been dialed down over the years as they've moved more and more towards death metal.
- Uncommon Time: Very often.
- X Meets Y: Exodus meets The Faceless meets Death meets The Dillinger Escape Plan. Yes, really.