...Yet So Far (Reissue)
posted on 2/2010 By:
Just as surely as you will find whores following an army, on the heels of every comeback album, you will find re-issues of older material. Such is the case with Maryland doom veterans Revelation, who released their fourth album, Release, in 2008, after a thirteen year recording hiatus. With interest in the band renewed, Shadow Kingdom Records has made available Revelation’s third album, 1995’s …Yet So Far.
…Yet So Far is an anomaly in Revelation’s catalog, in that it is the only release not to feature founding guitarist/vocalist, John Brenner. Taking Brenner’s place, alongside founding drummer Steve Branagan and new (at the time) bassist, Jim Hunter, is Dennis Cornelius. As one might expect, such a drastic lineup change results in some changes in the band’s sound, but they are not as dramatic as one might expect. In comparison to Brenner’s near tuneless and toneless vocals, Cornelius is a modest improvement, in that he can carry a tune. Though, Cornelius does not possesses anything near the power or range of great doom singers like Robert Lowe or Messiah Marcolin, his stronger voice does push …Yet So Far in a more melodic direction than its predecessors, a sound, that is, ironically, similar to the work the band has produced since Brenner’s return.
Revelation’s interpretation of doom, in any of its incarnations, has never been puritanical. The band’s sound is always solidly founded in slow, heavy riffs, as tracks like “Soul Bearer” and “Fallen” prove, but Revelation has never been afraid to follow its muse wherever it may lead. Yet, never do the band’s excursions into non-traditional doom territory fail to integrate seamlessly into the song. For instance, the intro to “Little Faith” is an Accept riff if I ever heard one, but Revelation somehow makes a Teutonic arena metal riff work within the context of a doom song. Elsewhere the band flirts with passages of shimmering arpeggios and jagged jabs of dissonance, but always, the songs flow smoothly from riff to riff.
…Yet So Far’s standout tracks include the title track and "Morning Sun." “Morning Sun” features some tasty, Iommi-styled licks in its opening riff, and the band uncorks another real neck snapper about three minutes in, and despite the track's dirge-like atmosphere, the chorus, the strongest of the record, comes across as oddly uplifting. “..Yet So Far” is an eight minute and forty second tour de force that runs the gamut from sinister creeping to delicate crooning, with some flashy fretwork in between.
The production on …Yet So Far is professional, but organic; the sound is clear, but not flashy. The guitars have enough meat to give the material the necessary weight, but they are not so thick as to crowd the bass or drums. Jim Hunter’s bass playing is energetic and melodic and the record is much better for its audibility.
Lineup changes are always controversial (except in Incantation, where they are the norm), and …Yet So Far could have easily ended up as the ugly duckling of Revelation’s discography. It is, however, a testament to the musicians involved that …Yet So Far, stands as one of the band’s best efforts. Anyone interested in expansive, melodic doom would be well advised to give it a listen.
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