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Revocation - "Teratogenesis" (CD/EP)

Revocation - "Teratogenesis" CD/EP cover image

"Teratogenesis" track listing:

1. The Grip Tightens (4:10)
2. Spurn The Outstretched Hand (4:07)
3. Maniacally Unleashed (3:41)
4. Teratogenesis (4:06)
5. Bound By Desire (5:34)

Reviewed by on December 10, 2012

"Revocation took 'Teratogenesis' seriously, composing material that can stand toe-to-toe with anything from their previous three albums."

Metal has seen an influx of marketing, promotion, and distribution for their underground darlings from Scion, the brand of automotive produced by Toyota. Scion started up its own record label, Scion A/V, with means of not only branching out their product line, but giving metal bands a mainstream supporter. Their metal division has been releasing a steady line of free EPs and singles for the past year, including work from Enslaved, Corrosion of Conformity, and Municipal Waste. Revocation is joining the fray with “Teratogenesis”, five new songs that would have fit in the time frame between “Existence Is Futile” and “Chaos of Forms.”

Revocation took “Teratogenesis” seriously, composing material that can stand toe-to-toe with anything from their previous three albums. They have found a way to make death metal tuneful, technical, and grand all at once, and it’s the influence of power and thrash metal in their sound that has done that for them. This meshing is on display on this EP and, other than the melodic shouts on “Spurn The Outstretched Hand,” avoids any overbearing experimentation.

Though the EP offers little in the way of outright quirky behavior like “The Watchers” or “Across Forests and Fjords,” the songs are not throwaways. The title track is one of the most vicious moments in the band’s catalog, and “Bound By Desire” has a lengthy instrumental ending that conjures up memories of “The Tragedy Of Modern Ages.” The other band members have taken on a larger role in the vocal department, as shouting barks are paired with Davidson’s bitter screams on “Spurn The Outstretched Hand” and “Maniacally Unleashed.”

“Teratogenesis” is the first release with bassist Brett Bamberger, who took over the position after Anthony Buda left earlier in the year. The band doesn’t miss a beat with Bamberger in the mix, and his bass work is crisp. As with “Chaos Of Forms,” the EP lives and dies by the guitar work from David Davidson and Dan Gargiulo. While Davidson started out as the sole guitarist when Revocation was first conceived, Gargiulo has taken on more of a workload since he joined as the second guitarist. The duo crackles with chemistry in their solos, and most of the exquisite moments on the EP are due to their tag-team effort.

A decade ago, the thought of a car company starting a record label and getting popular underground bands involved would have set off the metal world. Now, with labels bleeding money and artists trying their hardest to continue staying afloat as record sales dwindle, having Scion provide an outlet for metal bands isn’t as offensive. Hell, it’s free music; is there really any reason to complain? It doesn't hurt that Revocation puts down 20 awesome minutes of catchy, technical death metal on “Teratogenesis,” which makes the fact that it's for free even more appealing.

Highs: Free EP, Revocation fills it with new songs that kick a lot of ass, potent guitar work

Lows: Melodic shouts on “Spurn The Outstretched Hand” are average

Bottom line: A free EP from Revocation that is more than worth the download.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)