Revelation Of Doom
posted on 3/2008 By:
As my erstwhile compatriot Mr. Fonseca noted in his recent review of Bloodthirst’s Let Him Die, when it comes to metal, Poland has a knack for doing things right, for bringing you some of the tightest, most perfectly performed heaviness around. Whatever sub-genre Polish bands may choose, they dig in and master it, although they almost never seem to forge new ground. (Even Behemoth and Vader, arguably the country’s greatest metallic exports, are guilty of being masters of previously defined styles.) With that in mind, Revelation Of Doom drop their second batch of blasphemous blackened death, and true to Polish form, it’s exceptionally well-done, but it’s nothing outside the proverbial box.
Shemhamforash is my first exposure to this band, since I missed out on 2005's superbly titled Unholy Goatfuck and the live cassette-only effort Anthems From The Alcoholic Hell. (On a side note, is there such thing as a holy goatfuck? If so, that’s one more thing the Catholic Church has to answer for…) Even if the band’s name would indicate a slow ‘n’ gloomy doom record, those two album titles should clue you into what you’re really getting. If you can’t figure it out still, perhaps songs like “Six Six Six,” “The Goatwhore,” and “Phalluscipher The Godcrusher” will clue you in… Hell, if nothing else, they’ll prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Revelation Of Doom have a good grasp of the art of catchy titles.
The promo material for Revelation Of Doom namechecks Venom, Hellhammer, and Sodom, and I’m not certain that I’d immediately reach for any of those bands as comparisons. The spirit of Venom’s silly Satanism is intact, and there’s a rawness of spirit that might evoke Sodom, particularly in the few thrashy moments like the intro to “The Goatwhore.” Musically, this is solidly in the blasting death metal camp, with a black metal feel in production and lyric, the whole thing tight and pounding like Behemoth with moments that harken back to legendary bands like Celtic Frost, Morbid Angel and Immolation. (Unlike the latter, Revelation regrettably don't have the knack for those mind-melting dissonant riffs.) What riffs are here are down-tuned and dark; the vocals low and growled in the traditional death manner. There are keyboards, but they’re kept to a minimum and used only to add a subtle tinge of menacing atmosphere to the songs, not as a lead instrument or a focal point of any kind. Many of these songs inhabit a mid-paced blast-heavy realm, although Revelation Of Doom isn’t afraid to mix things up a bit. (Take, for example, the middle section of “As The God So The Servants” or the thrashy intro to “The Goatwhore.”) The album closes with three minutes of crashing windy sound fx and a repeated chant of “Rege Sathanas, Ave Sathanas, Hail Satan…” in case you missed the whole “We love Satan” thing during the first half-hour of listening.
Shemhamforash is a worthwhile acquisition, particularly for fans of well-done blackened death that’s heavily influenced by the classics. It’s certainly worthwhile for fans of the modern bands that split the difference between black and death, the legions of them, the Goatwhores and such. I can’t say anything really awesome about it, because it’s just not that awesome—I’d take Goatwhore over this any day of the week—but it is good for what it is. And what is it again? A nearly-surgically precise example of textbook blackened death, inessential but certainly worthy of a spin or two from time to time.
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