Revocation is an American thrash/technical death metal band from Boston, Massachusetts. The band was founded by guitarist and vocalist David Davidson, bassist and vocalist Anthony Buda and drummer Phil Dubois-Coyne in 2000. The band was originally known as Cryptic Warning, but it changed its name to Revocation in 2006. Revocation has released five studio albums, Empire of the Obscene, Existence Is Futile, Chaos of Forms, Revocation, and Deathless, in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2014 respectively. The band signed to Relapse Records after their first album, which was released independently. They have also released a free EP, Teratogenesis, with Scion A/V in 2012.
In April, 2014, the band confirmed that they had signed with Metal Blade Records, and were working on a new album, entitled Deathless, for release on October 14, 2014.
In 2000, guitarist/vocalist David Davidson, drummer Phil Dubois-Coyne and bassist Anthony Buda, who attended a high school in Boston, Massachusetts, formed Cryptic Warning, influenced by Guns N' Roses and Metallica. The band recorded its first demo in 2002 and gained an underground following in Boston, also performing outside of Massachusetts. A second demo, Internally Reviled, was recorded in 2004. In 2005, Cryptic Warning recorded its debut studio album, Sanity's Aberration, but was not content with the quality of the album's production. Remembering those recordings, Davidson said: "We didn't record the album with a metal guy, so we didn't get the sound we wanted. The heaviest reference in our producer's discography was The Cult. A lot of people still love that record--our old-school fans who used to show up for all of the shows--but to us, we weren't really satisfied with the production of that. We felt it was one of the mistakes we made."
The band decided to change its name to Revocation in 2006; Davidson commented: "I think, looking a little deeper into it, we made a lot of mistakes with Cryptic Warning. We were younger and didn't really know what we were doing, so Revocation was us starting fresh with a clean slate and revoking our past mistakes." With a direction change, Revocation promptly recorded a three-song demo titled Summon the Spawn, and in 2008 they went back into the studio to record their first full length album, Empire of the Obscene. The full length was self-released, and the band financed its own tour, attracting the interest of several record labels. Revocation subsequently signed to Relapse Records.
The band did a number of regional shows before recording their second full-length album, Existence Is Futile, released on September 29, 2009. The album was described by Allmusic as "one of the best pure metal albums of 2009", while Spin magazine named Revocation as one of the ten artists to watch in 2010. In October 2009, the band performed for the Relapse showcase at CMJ Music Marathon. On August 16, 2011, the band released their third full length album, "Chaos Of Forms". Their fourth full length studio release, self-titled Revocation, was released on August 5, 2013.
In early April 2014, it was announced that Revocation had made a deal with Metal Blade Records. In addition to the announcement of signing to Metal Blade, they announced that the recording of their fifth album had commenced. On July 1, 2014, it was reported that their new album will be called Deathless and will be released in the fall of 2014. Revocation will embark on a fall tour in the U.S. with Crowbar, Havok, Fit For An Autopsy, and Armed for Apocalypse. Following the fall tour, they will trek across Europe with Cannibal Corpse and Aeon.
Style, influences and reception:
The music of Revocation has been described by journalists as a fusion of technical death metal and thrash metal. The characteristics that define Revocation's sound include a "complex guitar-bass interplay" of dissonant riffs, bass breaks and "shredding" guitar solos united to "galloping" double bass drums, death metal tempos, hard rock breakdowns and grooves. Vocals ranged from death growls to grindcore screams, while "still recognizable as a human voice".
Music critics have pointed out that Davidson's guitar playing style is the prominent aspect of Revocation's sound. Davidson developed his playing technique by attending the Berklee College of Music, where he focused on polyrhythm for jazz. This musical education brought him an expertise in both playing and songwriting, while "some of the atonal aspects of jazz gave him a different perspective on composing and soloing."
Recalling his earliest influences, Davidson cites Slash, Dimebag Darrell, and Marty Friedman. Davidson says that as a band, Revocation have a wide range of influences, and among these are groups such as Exhorder, Dark Angel, Megadeth, Pestilence, Atheist, Gorguts, Forbidden, Spastic Ink, Martyr, and Exodus. Davidson has also cited the "raw energy" of the DIY metal shows in the Boston underground scene as an inspiration to get proactive and get the band working.
Regarding the band's rhythm section, critics have different opinions; while About.com stated that Buda and Dubois-Coyne "practice their own brutal brand of stop-on-a-dime precision with merciless intensity",Decibel magazine felt that when Davidson is soloing, "the rest of band often fails to compensate." In contrast Allmusic said: "Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Revocation, though, is that they're a trio."
David Davidson - lead vocals, guitar (2006-present),
Dan Gargiulo - guitar, backing vocals (2010-present),
Brett Bamberger - bass guitar, backing vocals (2012-present),
Phil Dubois-Coyne - drums (2006-2015),
Anthony Buda - bass guitar, backing vocals (2006-2012),
Jon "The Charn" Rice - drums (2014),
Alex Rüdinger - drums (2015),
Ash Pearson - drums (2015-present)