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Revel In Flesh - Death Kult Legions Award winner

Revel In Flesh
Death Kult Legions
by Julius “Dreadheart” Mikkelä at 23 November 2014, 12:25 PM

REVEL IN FLESH is a Death Metal band from Germany that rose out of the decline and eventual split-up of founding member Haubersson’s band IMMORTAL RITES in late 2011, and after recruiting members with experience from bands like APOPHIS, DEATHVASTATION and GRAVEN managed to record their debut album “Deathevokation” mere months into its existence based on existing material which was then mastered by the legendary musician and producer Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY, NIGHTINGALE, WITHERSCAPE and BLOODBATH), who described the album as, "An excellent offering to the Gods of SweDeath, complete with one of the most accurate re-creations of the crushing guitartones of the early Sunlight era. For fans of NIHILIST and ENTRAILS".

And the naming of “SweDeath” is indeed the sound that most, including REVEL IN FLESH themselves, best describe the sound and style of their music, which is heavy inspired and indeed an outright return to the Death Metal that dominated the Swedish Death Metal scene in the 90’s, up until the advent of Melodic Death Metal and the Gothenburg Sound, in the form of legendary bands like ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, GRAVE and NIHILIST. However although both “Deathevokation” and the 2013 follow-up “Manifest Darkness” were excellent albums, neither managed to live up to the standards of the legends they worshiped, nor did they help expand or build on the genre as such, but were rather just excellent copies of great things made a “long” time ago. But now in 2014 (these guys must be on a creative surge) these German SweDeathers is back with its 3rd installment, and it seems that what REVEL IN FLESH has been offering so far has really only been the appetizer for the main course that is “Death Kult Legions”.

Where do I even begin? Well, let’s start with the songs themselves, which has previously been REVEL IN FLESH’s greatest weakness. While distinctly better than the Death Metal average, which admittedly isn’t that high, REVEL IN FLESH’s songs were always a little bland and lacked that decisive punch and memorability that makes truly great songs. Well, “Death Kult Legions” is the antithesis of that, because every song packs a punch and sticks in your head. I wouldn’t say I heard any one instant classic, but damn it if it wasn’t close at times, with amazing offers like “In The Name Of The Flesh”, “When Glory Turns To Ruin”, “Frozen Majesty” and the title track “Death Kult Legions” that each on their own display REVEL IN FLESH’s new-found talent for strong and interesting songwriting, and together display a near-perfect balance of variety and uniformity. This is helped infinitely by not only the best production quality that REVEL IN FLESH has ever had, but also one of the best production qualities I’ve ever heard in Death Metal. And unlike the mistakes made by many peers who strive towards truly great production, “Death Kult Legions” did not sacrifice any of its genuine chainsaw-filled meat grinder sound and style to achieve this production quality, probably thanks to the returning veteran craftsmanship of Dan Swanö.

The overall result is simply stunning. “Deathevokation” and “Manifest Darkness” were both good, but “Death Kult Legions” really make them look bad in comparison. And it’s not just because “Death Kult Legions” is a straight better creation, but also because it seems that REVEL IN FLESH has taken that important step to no longer be a mere fan recreating a past style, and has rather stepped up and become comfortable in the idea of being an original creator of a style of music that can still evolve and be refined, which shows in their willingness to start to differentiate – but not alienate – themselves from their origins and forge something that, although not quite there yet, can become something style-(re-)defining and perhaps even unique.

The truly one and only weakness of the album I could find was that there are too many slower songs that isn’t quite sufficiently contrasted, causing the album to feel overall a little slow-going where it probably should be a little more balanced – or perhaps even a little heavy on the speed. This does however have the interesting upside that it makes the faster and more explosive songs “In The Name Of The Flesh” and “Death Kult Legions” to feel just that much better.

So with even the downsides having upsides on this album, it feels almost needless to conclude that REVEL IN FLESH’s “Death Kult Legions” is a truly amazing Death Metal album that not just shows that the 90’s so-called “SweDeath” style (which is now apparently the focus of something called the “New Wave Of German Death Metal”) isn’t dead and buried, but that it might actually have more to offer the world of Metal. I can’t call it a masterpiece, and it’s not as revolutionary as the genre perhaps needs, but it’s one hell of an album and in writing moment I have a hard time not placing “Death Kult Legions” in the top 5 Death Metal albums of 2014.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. In The Name Of The Flesh
2. When Glory Turns To Ruin
3. Black Oath Impurity
4. Graveyard Procession
5. Death Kult Legions
6. Frozen Majesty
7. Hurt Locker
8. Cryptcrawler
9. As Souls Descend
10. Levitation
11. Necropolis
Lineup:
Gotzberg – Bass
Vogtsson – Drums
Herrmannsgard – Guitars
Maggesson – Drums, Lead Guitars
Haubersson – Guitars, bass, Vocals
Record Label: Cyclone Empire
     


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