It is my belief that the Boss HM-2 pedal was one of the single greatest innovations in death metal. That pedal helped to create what is now known as the “chainsaw” guitar tone and propelled European death metal to a whole other level than what we in America were accustomed to by this point. Sure, we had many thunderous and rip-roaring acts here in the United States and they were fantastic. But, I still don’t think they were able to match the brutality that Europe was putting out around the late 1980s and 1990s*. Such a bold statement can easily be backed up by Swedish death metal greats such as Dismember, Carnage, Nihilist, Grave, and Entombed to name a few. Unfortunately in these modern times a lot of death metal bands are ditching that brutal trademark sound and replacing it with sterile and compressed tones that make me want to vomit. That is why in these recent years there has been a resurgence of old-school death metal worship and Revel in Flesh and their debut full-length, “Deathevokation,” fit perfectly into that category.
I mentioned Nihilist above not only because they were instrumental in helping death metal become the destructive force that it is today, but because (I believe) Revel in Flesh derived their name from one of their songs off of their 1989 demo, “Only Shreds Remain.” After the brief introduction to ‘Culpa et Inferna’ you can immediately hear the distinct Nihilist-worship in this two-man operation, and it is very powerful. Haubersson’s and Maggesson’s chainsaw guitar tones makes quite the impression and it is here to stay for the entirety of “Deathevokation.”
What Revel in Flesh do with their old-school death metal is fantastic from beginning to end. “Deathevokation” treats you to 10 tracks of pure fleshripping terrordeath** that all have their own identities. This album took four years to write and the hard work and patience shows through every guitar note, lyric, and drum beat. Revel in Flesh wanted to create an album that pays a perfect homage to how death metal used to be in Europe and excel at their craft. The buzzing melodies in ‘Shadowbreeder,’ ‘Wings of Death,’ ‘Bloodfeast,’ ‘Black Paled Elegy,’ and ‘Subconscious Error’ are enough to get even the most “trve” old-school death metalhead to tap their feet and break their necks. There really aren’t enough good things I can say about “Deathevokation,” but for all of our sanity I am going to cut the pleasantries short lest I wish to repeat myself.
One way to add to the greatness that is the quality of “Deathevokation” is to bring in Dan Swanö (Demiurg, ex-Edge Of Sanity) himself to mix it. The decades of experience that Dan has in the Swedish death metal scene helps to propel Revel in Flesh‘s sound to a whole other level. Making sure to give it the obvious Nihilist kick with helpings of the destructive nature of Asphyx or Claws and you have yourself one monstrous record. The leads and solos are some of the best quality I have heard in the past year just because of how utterly vicious they sound. The only thing that I wish Revel in Flesh would have changed is having the vocals being slightly lower in the mix and putting some reverb behind them. If they did that then I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of cataclysmic old-school death metal that would create.
I know I am not the only one that is tired of the over-produced and compressed trash that people call death metal these days. When I hear guys like Roger “Rogga” Johansson (Paganizer, Putrevore, Ribspreader) and Lasse Pyykkö (Claws, Hooded Menace, Vacant Coffin) making sure to keep the true spirit of death metal alive I know I am in good company. “Deathevokation” has such strong replay value that I know I will be listening to it non-stop throughout this year. Revel in Flesh do a magnificent job in helping to spread the gospel of earth-shaking death metal and I eagerly wait for new material with baited breath. Seriously, if you love European old-school death metal then you would be a fool to not pick up this album.
*I don’t care if this is an “unpopular” opinion. It’s true.
**Yes, that was an unrelated Blasphemophagher reference.