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Revenant - Prophecies of a Dying World
Review: In the early days of death metal one form that prevailed was a throwback to some of the more extreme speed metal of the previous generation, one in which a technical approach and a taste for sounds that resemble things being torn apart and then compacted, as an aesthetic, enclosed metal with designs on expressive structures with dramatic presentation and feral musicality. This instrumental power rests in an ability to make melodies wind around the arrangements necessary to present a pattern of alternatingly empty and full spaces in which variation moves.
Some riffs descend from the speed metal canon of rumbling, undulating riffs based on the compact strum while half-muting strings technique that defined the older genre, but their application is in a death metal riff lexicon where riffs have specific placement in the superstructure of the song and thus are of different lengths and are expended for different effects. The smaller riffs turn momentum around, and will stop or reinstate a passage in its expanding across variations in time, yet lengthier riffs are used to state dominant motifs in melody, while the midsize riffs carry mood and a sense of tempo. Drums accompany riffs with an alert and imperial beat filled out by strata of action across the kit to complement the major beats and intervals of silence. There is lead guitar of a technical type, and some intriguing solos which hoped to bend the barrier between noise and music and did so successfully, and these are mixed well with the development of transition and chorus in a sense of tangible songwriting.
Each song on this album has its unique imprint, and while the evaporated throat vocals and somewhat sadistic immersion in complex riffing can overwhelm, its rough transfer of energy between human motion and potential stored within data containers of absurdist types (in versatile contorted phrasing) creates an atmosphere which not only remains a current vision of apocalypse, but infiltrates the current time with a sense of the desperation of the age of early death metal.