|4.6 (3 votes):|
Indian label Transcending Obscurity show off their new toy with their first full-length album in 16 years – it’s been worth the wait. Despite their relatively long run in the game, Finland’s Revulsion play with the passion and zeal of a band hitting their peak, and though there isn’t much original on offer, the ferocious grooves and exquisite production make it stand out from their peers in a country with an already well-established death metal scene. The band have gone for quality over quantity in their career, and it has clearly worked.
The relentless warmth radiating from each track is glorious and thrives to spite their -45° winters: sandblasting vocals growl through a jungle of riffs and the heat coming off the bass sounds like the Sun gargling Tiger Balm. If the theory that the Christian version of Hell is hot simply because the religion originated in a Mediterranean climate then this album must paint the Arctic’s version of Heaven.
It’s near impossible to pick a stand-out song as they all hit with the same impact, and the sequencing of the tracks certainly has an influence on how they impress upon the listener. Opener Last Echoes of Life announces itself with little ceremony as the briefest of drum rolls knocks on the door before the rest of the band kick it down; Pyre swaggers, Walls bubbles along nicely, and Mustaa Hiiltä lurches with power and poise. Wastelands kicks off with a riff Morbid Angel would be proud of, Silence grooves past us effortlessly, and final track Viimeinen Rituaali finishes by throwing us head first into a volcano. The overall sound is both gritty and precise, the musicianship and composition worthy of accolades with the mixing and production no doubt the envy of other studios. There’s not a squandered second on the album and the band’s message is delivered with the casual urgency of established heavyweights.
If I was to find fault, I’d say that the lyrics are occasionally lacking and hearing the same sentence repeated doesn’t work brilliantly as a hook or chorus, and the compression may be a bit too much for some, though more dynamic range would no doubt take away the pleasing balminess of the record. Solos have been replaced with breakdowns or tempo changes, which is a same as, even though the riffs are ferociously addictive, it makes you curious as to what they would have added and what would have suited best – pensive drones or pacey finger taps – either way, it feels a wee bit like a missed opportunity. Nitpicking aside, it will take some doing to make a better brutal death metal record this year… and it’s only January. If your plans for a beach holiday are scuppered by yet another pandemic lockdown you can bask in the heat of this album, just make sure to use plenty of sun cream first.
Release date: February 5, 2021
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