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Revelation - "Revelation" (CD/EP)

Revelation - "Revelation" CD/EP cover image

"Revelation" track listing:

1. Seven Deadly Sins
2. A World in Flames
3. Shadows

Reviewed by on June 11, 2009

"The demo's second track, 'A World in Flames,' is the real 'sock-knocker,' with an opening that literally took my breath away the first time I heard it."

Whenever I get a demo recording to review, the question "Would you sign this band?" is always in the back of my mind as I give it a first listen. That's a different question than "Do I like this record?," but it's also the one that I think most bands submitting demos for review would like answered nearly as much as "Is it cool?"

In the case of Pittsburgh-based thrashers Revelation, the answer is yes, I'd sign them based on their three-song demo, but not without some reservations. The demo's first song, "Seven Deadly Sins," begins well, with guitarist/singer Nick Hamel providing an ominous death metal growl to go with the melodic thrash. It's not quite metalcore, but something close. I like the fact that there is quite a palpable sense of melody to the song. Still, a couple minutes in, I realize that it's competent metal, but nothing that completely knocks my socks off.

The demo's second track, "A World in Flames," is the real "sock-knocker," with an opening that literally took my breath away the first time I heard it. It never really gets past the mid-tempo mark in terms of speed, but the sheer power of this guitar-bass-and-drums assault will knock you back in your seat — and that's before the superb solo near the end.

The aptly named "Shadows" reminds me a bit of pre-"Threads of Life" Shadows Fall, alternating between fast, double-bass powered sections and more mid-tempo parts. It's got another great guitar solo at about the five-minute mark. Unfortunately, the band decided to end the demo on the song that drags just a bit.

The vocals throughout are your average Phil Anselmo melodic shouting, but Hamel does keep things as varied as they can be in that format. Both Hamel and fellow ax-wielder Kris Litman keep things interesting most of the time on the guitar front, and the rhythm section is solid most of the time, though my nagging metal comment of "more bass!" seems appropriate here.

All in all, Revelation has produced a solid demo that I think would appeal to thrash and metalcore fans, and I'd sign 'em if I could, but it'd have to be under their new name, Awaken the Horror, which they took after recording this demo (and changing their lineup around a little, putting David O'Loughlin on guitar and switching Nick Hamel to bass).

Highs: "A World in Flames" has a great beginning, and will keep you hooked all the way through.

Lows: At over seven minutes, "Shadows" drags on a bit too long.

Bottom line: Revelation's got a good eye for thrashing melodies, and deserves to get signed so we can hear a full album.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)