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Reveal! – Scissorgod

by Santiago Puyol at 06 January 2020, 10:35 PM

Swedish Black Metal band REVEAL! had released their third full-length, "Scissorgod," a combination on Black Metal traditional oddball approach with Experimental, Alternative and even Post-Punk influences.

The album gets started with the title track and its droning, early BLACK SABBATH-like intro. Sweeping dramatic explosions of the instruments are backed with what seems to be a combination of synthesizers and horns, especially on the pre-chorus providing a fun, theatrical vibe to the track. A Stoner-like breakdown is capped off with a dizzying solo, while heavy syncopation accentuates the uneasy feel to the track.

"Harder Harder" goes for nasty riffing. Interesting yet chaotic and atonal guitar work is rammed against a pounding bassline. Gottfrid Åhman fools around the song with bluesy bass runs, giving a balance to the chaos. Subtle keyboard embellishments, of what seems to be a clavicorn, add a slight Goth edge.

The classically tingled call and response between guitar and bass opens "Decomposer," a track with a light circus feel. Delightful clean guitar layering, with soft delay and tremolo and really tight drum work, keeps the tension on building. Spooky synths contribute to the manic and claustrophobic atmosphere as Crack’s vocals progressively fall into pure madness, paying homage to the track’s title.

"Down Through the Hole" comes next, one of the heaviest songs on the album and an absolute headbanger. Petter gets a moment to go full beast mode and deliver a blast-beat assault. The whole band also gets to show a more menacing side with a wicked time signature change on the breakdown.

The mostly instrumental "Feeble Hearts" gets a lengthy intro with barebones of tribal drumming, noisy guitars and textured synths/horns. A prologue as repetitive as it is effective, making it one of the more out-there songs on "Scissorgod." The whole song moves between more “normal” songwriting bits and chaotic, experimental passages both haunting and psychedelic. It seems to take a page or two from Post-Punk bands like SONIC YOUTH or DEVO.

More post-punk vibes appear on the complex and sinister "Clevermouth." Its shifting time signatures, moving between common time and a waltz feel, makes it very intricate while never losing its catchiness and high energy. Spine shines with truly amazing lead guitar work, with a dash of spaghetti western and a little shredding flash.

"The Plot Thickens" is another heavy track filled with meaty riffs, fast-paced drumming and a bluesy solo, while "What Pigs Get" goes for high energy and a punkish edge mixing it with more traditionally heavy stuff. In a way, both tracks feel like a palate cleanser before the big finale.

"Coin Toss" brings the horns back and puts them much closer to the forefront than before. A brassy track, where the horns add as much texture as melody, accentuating the vocals in a great way. Petter’s drumming goes tribal again, heavy on the toms with a lot of snare syncopation. It ends quite abruptly, falling into a droning bass thumping.

Although the production can feel a little muddy at times, it mostly fits the music and the mixing is intelligent as it keeps instruments where they should be.

Overall, "Scissorgod" is an impressive, well-written and richly diverse album. With a distinct sound and miscellaneous influences clashing into the band’s core. It gets a little reminiscent of VOIVOD’s silliness and experimental tendencies, with just a dash of Post-Metal-provoking stuff like ISIS. Some Stoner and classic, 1970s Metal influence get to shine through, as well as Post-Punk and Experimental.

Crack’s vocals manage to find enough diversity on their always-harsh sound, without even getting predictable or monotone. The horn section and the subtle synth work truly contribute to the confusing, dramatic and psychedelic feel of the album. They feel entrenched with the band’s songwriting and not mere additions for the sake of surprising the listener. This is a fun record that leaves you wanting more.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Scissorgod
2. Harder Harder
3. Decomposer
4. Down Through the Hole
5. Feeble Hearts
6. Clevermouth
7. The Plot Thickens
8. What Pigs Get
9. Coin Toss
Spine – Guitars
Gottfrid Åhman – Bass
Petter – Drums
Crack – Vocals
Record Label: Sepulchral Voice Records


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