Revocation are a sort of death/technical and thrash with some groove hybrid band out of Boston Ma. Chaos of Forms is the second album to be released on Relapse, following Existence is futile. If this sounds like a mess, it’s not, they pull of it off phenomenally well. Chaos of forms is not trying to appease everyone with every style, but rather a blending of the band’s influences (which are sometimes a little too apparent). Imagine all the cool parts of Metallica, without all the Lars and lawsuits, mixed will all the cool parts of Guns and Roses, subtracting the wack-job personalities and heroin dependence, then add the technical prowess of Chuck Schuldiner and the melodic aspects of In Flames back before they became an emo fruit stand of a band and you might start to get a handle on what Revocation sounds like.
David Davidson is a beast of a guitarist. Whether he’s laying down a groove, or shredding a melodic and technical solo, he’s clearly a top tier player. Vocally Davidson sticks to the death metal style for the most part, but with a pretty decent range of sounds thrown in for good measure. Anthony Buda handles the bass for Revocation. Buda is capable of complex lines and works well writing with Davidson, he also knows when to keep things simple, which can;t always be said of bands with strong technical skills. Buda is quite capable of laying down a groove. Phil Dubois is monster of a drummer, handling the changes in interesting ways, which is critical as the drummer can make or break a band that shifts styles, times, around as much as Revocation does. Dan Gargiulo plays well off Davidson and contributes to the full sound of the band, creating interplay with the guitars which is more than just backing track material.
Chaos of Forms starts out with the track Cretin, which is a thrash-y technical track. This track highlights the bands ability to blend styles and Davidson’s preternatural guitar skills. Cradle Robber starts out a sold death metal track and blends in thrash elements, and contains an epic tempo shifting solo that reminds me of something Alexi Laiho might write. Harlot vaguely reminds me of something Alex Skolnick and Chuck Billy might have come up with, very thrash, but then it busts into this groove riff under the guitar solo that’s more like Joe Perry on speed. Dissolution Ritual is almost a hard rock track with death metal intentions. The solo in Dissolution Ritual is a lower tempo almost classical part, which morphs the songs back into the realm of metal. Conjuring the Cataclysm starts the way I’d imagine a modern day Jimmy Page might start a track, then turns into a thrash track. Lyrically it sounds like old Megadeth. No Funeral is one of the stand out tracks on Chaos of Forms. This song kicks ass right out the gate, thrash start, with death metal speed and melodic choruses, it shreds the whole way through. Fractal Entity is probably the track that sticks closest to technical death metal, it’s a shorter instrumental track that leads to the title track. The title track, Chaos of Forms is a solid death metal track with melodic soloing and technical instrumentation near the end. The Watchers starts as a solid death metal track and morphs into a thrash track with an almost Iron Maiden style gallop and some walking bass and what sounds like horns or keys before the solo. Beloved Horrifier is a solid thrash death metal combination. Dethroned has a huge technical start and changes into a track that reminds me of the later days of Devin Townsend while mixing in more technical riffs. The closer, Reprogrammed, is a solid technical death metal track, unrelenting from start to finish.
Chaos of Forms is one of those very dense albums that takes more than one listen to appreciate. It’s worth the time to listen free of other distractions. There is definitely an element, a strong one, of old school on Chaos of Forms, but it’s not a throwback album by any means. The one downside is that at times there are riffs that you’d swear you’ve heard before. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery or not, it does cast a shadow over an otherwise solid release. If your in it just for the technical and solo aspects you might be disappointed with Chaos of Forms compared to Revocation’s earlier work, but if your a fan of riff based music, this is one to check out.