"Chaos Of Forms"

By Lord Randall

Those who’ve been reading my missives, diatribes and exaltations for a while know of my Third Album Theory. It states that, regardless of lineup changes (barring a near-complete overhaul) a band will turn out its most true-to-form release on its third outing,and therefore set a benchmark for what is to come after. I’ve rarely been proven wrong; it has happened, but rarely. "Chaos Of Forms" is Massachusetts thrash/death ensemble REVOCATION’s all-important third album, also featuring the same lineup. So let’s put my theory to the test, shall we?

The mix jumps out at you immediately in opener ‘Cretin’, giving each instrument its equal space, a true rarity in metal today. The triple-vocal attack works well for many bands, but when all three styles have easily been delivered before by a single person able to sing/scream/rasp with equal passion, I just can’t get behind what REVOCATION’s going for here. The music of ‘Cradle Robber’ is standard mall metal by rote, and the vocals make it only more so. Tossing handfuls of uber-predictable solo work in does not extremity create. ‘Harlot’ weds credible thrash tempos and believable (if not damned near nice) throat-shredding, resulting in the first hit of the record. String sweeps, funk bass moments and harmony let us see what the quartet’s capable of…until ‘Dissolution Ritual’ heaps another ladleful of directionless musical goulash onto our plate. Skillful playing only works when it’s not haphazardly stitched together in some almost laughable attempt to cover all the bases and appeal to everyone in within earshot. ‘Fractal Entity’ sounds less like a true instrumental and more like a collection of riffs that never found a home in an actual song slammed into each other and thrown against the wall to see what sticks, while ‘Beloved Horrifier’ and ‘Dethroned’ show what REVOCATION is capable of when they stop trying to be everything to everyone and focus on being themselves. Thrash, death, melody (actual songs!), they’re all there.

With 12 songs, all passable but only 4 truly showing the band at their best, I do believe one of two options can only be true. Either my Third Album Theory is in for a major  aforementioned near-complete overhaul, or REVOCATION needs one.