by Ryan Meehan
Revocation have spent the last eight years converting fans to their cause with four full length albums, an EP with Scion AV, and a charismatic live show led by guitarist/vocalist Dave Davidson. The Boston-based band also features the staggeringly talented lineup of: Dan Gargiulo on guitar, Brett Bamberger on bass, and Phil Dubois on drums. Revocation has firmly been established as one of the genre’s finest and will continue their campaign as part of the Metal Blade Records roster. Their fifth album, “Deathless,” is set for an October 14th release, and the album will be available in CD, 2LP and digital formats. “Deathless” was recorded with acclaimed producer Zeuss at Planet Z studios in Massachusetts. The album is ten tracks of ambitious, catchy, and undeniably heavy material. Musically, cuts like “Madness Opus” showcase a more deliberate Revocation – restrained, if even moderately so, to deliver a slow, near-dirge like track. Alternatively, the title track highlights the diversity of Davidson’s vocals with a catchy chorus. It’s an earworm the likes of which the band had only previously hinted. The rest of the album offers a refreshing variety of music and truly feels like an “album”, rather than a collection of similar tracks. This is a refinement, achieved only through years of focusing on their craft. Davidson adds, “Collectively, we feel that “Deathless” is our finest offering yet. The songs are incredibly varied and each one showcases a different element of the band. Technically, everyone is in top form on this record, as well, and we really pushed ourselves to deliver the best performances possible on all fronts. This is a new chapter and a new beginning for the band; we can’t wait for this record to be unleashed in October!“ “Madness Opus” made its live debut when Revocation toured with DevilDriver and Whitechapel during the summer of 2014. Davidson discusses the track: “The crowd response for that tune has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s one of the heaviest songs we’ve ever written, hands down, and has been a blast to play live. Lyrically, it’s about one of my favorite HP Lovecraft stories, “The Music Of Erich Zann”. Fans of unnamable cosmic horror and punishing death metal will not be disappointed!“ Revocation begins touring in support of “Deathless” in September with Crowbar in North America, followed by a full European tour with new label mates Cannibal Corpse and Aeon. Much is more is set to come – This is the beginning of a new era for Revocation, and Dave Davidson is our guest today in 10 Questions.
RM: Out of all of the metal bands in the world, I think that by far you guys have the fucking greatest logo ever…How long ago was that done, and who did it?
DD: Thanks a lot! Our logo was created in 2008 by my friend Mark Richards. We went through several drafts until we found the right one, and then continued to refine it from there.
RM: Who were some of the artists that were coming up in the greater New England area around the same time as Revocation, and what records of theirs really inspired you to take your material to the next level?
DD: We came up in the scene with a bunch of killer bands. Sexcrement were starting out around the same time as us as were a band called Despotic Robot who later became Ramming Speed. Random Acts Of Violence were a local band that had a profound impact on me growing up. I remember playing shows with them, and really being inspired by their stage performance and their music. I was even their roadie for a tour and sold merch for them for a couple of weeks, it was my first tour ever and I have a blast. Our drummer Phil joined them later on in their career and I filled in on bass for them on a show. They put out an album called “Unleashing” and then an EP called “Cathartes Aura” both of which were really influential to me.
RM: How many guitars make up your arsenal of axes; and what is it about the Jackson Warrior that makes it your number one guitar?
DD: I’ve got 10 guitars, 3 of which are warriors. I love the warrior because it’s a very “metal” looking guitar but it’s got a sleek and unique look to it. It’s also really well balanced, and plays great if I’m standing or sitting.
RM: What can you tell us about the new record “Deathless”? How was (producer) Zeuss able to get you guys to channel your collective energy and ensure that your first release on Metal Blade would be an explosive one that fans will love?
DD: I think “Deathless” is our best album to date on both a songwriting and technical level. Zeuss is great to work with since he’s always willing to try new ideas in the studio, and is just an all around fun guy to be around. He also really knows how to get the sound we’re looking for and delivered a totally crushing final product to us that we are all stoked on.
RM: Is the concept of the album’s title based on the idea of eternal life, or simply the inability to achieve death?
DD: The concept of the title track doesn’t actually have to do with immortality. “Deathless” refers to our lives on the road, and our unceasing dedication to the band and to this lifestyle. I have a lot of time for reflection on long drives going from place to place and “Deathless ” is a collection of my thoughts about what it takes to be in a hard working band trying to get to that next level.
RM: You had the opportunity to work with Marty Friedman on his last record…Even though you possess amazing guitar skills, was that still a little intimidating knowing you’re in the same room tracking with a player of that technical ability?
DD: Well the interesting thing about recording with Marty was that we were never actually in the same room together. Marty lives in Japan so all of our correspondences were through email. I think that took some of the edge off because I could record things at my place and be in my own comfort zone. The first time I met Marty was actually after the song was already recorded and it was a little intimidating meeting him for the first time, but he was so down to earth and nice that I didn’t feel intimidated by him once we started chatting.
RM: Why were you so compelled to throw your hat in the fracking discussion? What is it about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing that led you to pen the lyrics to “Fracked”?
DD: I wrote about it because it’s a topic that’s current, and it was something that I wanted to address. Thrash metal bands have written songs about the destruction of the environment since the early days, just listen to Annihilator’s “Stonewall” or Nuclear Assault’s “Critical Mass” I’m just continuing that tradition but with a modern topic that is impacting people today. Corporations have been given carte blanche to destroy the environment for a long time in the name of profit so it was something that I felt compelled to write about.
RM: If you had to pick three songs from your body of work to show to somebody who had never heard Revocation before, which tracks would you select and why would you say they best represent the band?
DD: Dismantle the Dictator because it’s a ripping death/thrash song with some weird twists and turns, Deathless because it’s very driving and showcases our melodic elements and finally Bound By Desire because it’s very epic.
RM: You guys have a brutal tour schedule over the next four months that starts in Alabama and ends in Australia…I just talked to your labelmate Zack Simmons from Goatwhore, and he told me that it’s almost better to have less days off because in a way you can lose your momentum if you have several days off in a week…Would you agree with that statement? What are some things that the band does in order to pass the time while travelling from show to show?
DD: I think it’s good to have a day off here and there to recharge, but yeah you don’t want to have a bunch off in a row otherwise you lose not only momentum – but money. We listen to a lot of tunes in the van to pass the time as well as The Howard Stern Show. His interviews are great and help make long drives flow by, not to mention Richard Christy’s prank phone calls that we all have practically memorized at this point haha.
RM: What’s up next for Revocation in the remainder of 2014 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
DD: More touring most likely, our plan is to really hit it hard on this album cycle and to travel to as many places as possible to spread the word about the new record.
Revocation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Revocation
Revocation on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialRevocation
Revocation on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Revocation
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