Boston, Massachusetts natives Revocation could be described as an educated metalhead’s band. The group, formed in 2000 under the Cryptic Warning moniker, has long played over a blueprint of technical song structure and unorthodox layering that can largely attributed to frontman Dave Davidson’s time at Berklee studying polyrhythm for jazz music. Davidson, along with band mates Dan Gargiulo (guitars/vocals), Brett Bamberger (bass/vocals) and fellow founding member Phil Dubois-Coyne (drums), are currently touring Europe, promoting critically acclaimed third album, Chaos of Forms (2010), and, as Dubois-Coyne writes via email, it isn’t always the easiest task.
“They can be a hard nut to crack. Especially in places like Germany, where the market is so saturated with amazing tours coming through all the time, you really need to bring your A game to turn heads,” he writes.
The hard riffing band is no stranger to turning heads, however, as they’ve been garnering attention for their ability to seamlessly blend a plethora of both metal sub-genres and outside influences, like jazz and pure rock ‘n’ roll. Their efforts have come to fruition better on each release, so fans of the group should be salivating at the upcoming five-song EP via Scion A/V, entitled Teratogenesis.
“Our rule of thumb is that if we like listening to something we’ll play it, so if someone brings an idea to the table that is may be a little unorthodox, we will manage to work it into a song,” says Dubois-Coyne of the group’s unique writing style.
“The key is to have enough material to be able to pick and choose what works together and also be able to come up with creative ways to transition between parts which take a stylistic leap from one another,” he continues.
The EP will mark the first release without original bassist Anthony Buda, who left the group to pursue his interest in pop music. It will also be the band’s second outing with second guitarist Dan Gargiulo, who joined the group shortly before the recording of Chaos of Forms, bringing the band’s remarkable run as a power trio to an end. It was a necessary move, however, as the addition of Gargiulo gives the band more options with guitar layering that they haven’t had in the past, giving them an element of completion and fleshing out their sound. Gargiulo has also taken over some of Buda’s old vocal duties, contributing backup screams and growls when called upon.
In addition to being one of the more technically proficient bands on the touring circuit, Revocation are obvious jokers. The band’s social media pages are often plastered with pictures of the group in speedos or outrageously photoshopped. It’s also prevalent in music videos, where hilarious facial expressions, stage moves and body language make it apparent that, above all, the band is having fun up there, something Dubois-Coyne thinks could be part of the appeal.
“We are very serious about our music and being professional about how we operate, but we don’t take a pretentious attitude towards ourselves or our image, and I think a lot of people enjoy that,” he theorizes.
If this outlook will draw the ire of the more serious, true-kvlt metal crowd is yet to be seen, but Revocation’s unique approach to technical death metal is a breath of fresh air to many of us growing tired of corpse-paint, Satanism and gore fantasies.
See Revocation with KEN mode, A Life Once Lost, Frightenstein, and Sub-Atomic Chaos on Friday, October 26 at Vern’s Pub for only $15 at the door.
By Brandon McNeil
Photo: Tom Couture