Canada war metal band Revenge is one band that one either absolutely loves or hates. James Read and the projects that he has been involved in over the years have quickly become some of my favourite bands, including the excellent Conqueror, with his trademark drumming style being chaotic yet engaging at the same time. Over the years, Revenge has honed their musical style, and 2008’s Infiltration.Downfall.Death was perhaps my favourite release by the band thus far. Before the release of Scum.Collapse.Eradication, the departure of Pete Helmkamp (another one of my personal favourite musicians) left me wondering how the album would turn out.
Fortunately, that did not cause much of a difference or diversion from the path that the band has set up with the previous release. Apart from the album artwork and the songtitles that were stylistically similar to Infiltration.Downfall.Death, the similarities extended to the musical style on Scum.Collapse.Eradication as well. The album begins with the doom-paced intro of Us and Them (High Power), and this sounds like a continuation of the previous album. After numerous crazed shrieks and growls at the background, all hell breaks loose Revenge style as the listener is hit by a barrage of the chaotic lead guitars of Vermin. James Read’s drumming style and muffled vocals are instantly recognisable, and the music is often punctuated by that inhuman guttural growl/burp at the background to further reinforce the chaos that is already abound.
Of course, with Revenge, one does not expect much variation or flamboyant technical wankery, and one familiar with the band would immediately expect nothing but straight out aggressive and chaotic blackened death metal in the veins of other similar Canadian war metal acts. The consistency in the band’s songwriting is especially evident in the lead guitars of Vermin, which at times sound so similar that one wonders if these were recycled off his works on the previous album, though the intention of these solos are clear – with the emphasis on the destruction and lawlessness of the music. Things are at times so predictable that one who has been previously exposed to albums like Infiltration.Downfall.Death can anticipate what comes next and while this typically is the pitfall of most albums, Revenge more than makes up with it through the sheer aggression and energy one feels when listening to the album.
War metal is an extremely interesting genre. Despite the large number of bands that are often lumped together in the genre, each somehow manages to craft out a niche and unique sound of their own, and Revenge is no different. Scum.Collapse.Eradication is the culmination of the band’s 4 years of effort, and the 4 year wait has certainly been well worth it, proving why Revenge remains one of the household names of the genre.
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