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Album Review: Revel In Flesh – The Hour Of The Avenger

Germany’s Revel In Flesh first crawled out of the nether pit in 2011, just as the wave of old-school death metal resurgence started to rear its gnarly head. Their sound was a filthy swirl of classic Swedish death metal (their moniker clearly stating their intent) with a dash of Fleshcrawl meatiness and Hypocrisy melody, something that helped them stand out from the pack (of which there are/were many). Four successful albums in and the band have secured their place within the coven and are revered by the underground as solid and uncompromising; their music consistent and brutal.

As we stand at the precipice of 2020, The Hour Of The Avenger is here to ensure that the transition into the new decade is anything but quiet and laid-back. At just under 45 minutes, the album hits like an iron fist from the get-go. It doesn’t let up on the pummeling until the final strains of the kickass cover of Motörhead’s ‘Rock Out’ (nice to see that it’s not one of the Lemmy standards for once!) slap you across the face and leave you lying bloody in the dirt. And with the final mix and mastering by Dan Swanö, you’d better believe that you’re looking at music that’s not only dripping with fetid decay but heavier than a bucket of bloody big bricks.

All the standard death metal components are in place with the guys laying in a varied pace and sense of dynamics, allowing for breathing room in amongst the hammering cacophony. Added to this is a strain of 90’s doom that doesn’t make itself known but is laid into the foundation to build on both the heaviness and chainsaw riffage. With the exception of the prerequisite blasting passages, Revel In Flesh are professional purveyors of the mid-tempo, gut-kicking Entombed riff, so the album moves at a steady pace that cries out for the crowds to bang their heads, and it is this that saves the record from being played-out before the needle hits the groove. Songs like ‘The Nihilistic Nothingness’, ‘Deathblow’, and the title track are easily going to find themselves in heavy rotation in the Revel In Flesh live setlist, and rightly so – they have found that 90’s death metal sweet spot where the choruses, guitar passages, and melodies stick in your head like old glue and refuse to leave.

Quite a few of the original bands that started up the OSDM revival have faded out or changed direction, some have grown stale by refusing to evolve, and the precious few have stayed with their original intent and played on their unique strengths to make great music. With The Hour Of The Avenger, Revel In Flesh haven’t rewritten extreme history or created a modern classic, but what they have done is shown that they understand the genre from its very core, squeezing out every last lethal drop of the magical elixir that is death metal. And that, given the current musical landscape, is a monumental effort that deserves your attention.


(©2019 Eva Nagler Photography)


RELEASE DATE: December 06, 2019

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