Revocation – w/ Goatwhore, Alluvial and Creeping Death – Live at Fleece, Bristol

Revocation – w/ Goatwhore, Alluvial and Creeping Death
Fleece, Bristol
Live Review by Richard Oliver
Photography by Paul Hutchings 

Opening this evening of death metal majesty were Texan hardcore death metal mob Creeping Death who got the evening off to an absolute crushing start. With a style that mixes thrash and death metal with a hardcore influence this set was bound to be nothing but brutal and Creeping Death ensured that the necks got a good workout.  Pounding rhythms, punishing groove and enormous riffs were unleashed with crippling intensity during the bands 30 minute set with cuts such as ‘Skinned Alive’ and ‘The Edge Of Existence’. New song ‘Intestinal Wrap’ got the crowd very much warmed up for what was to come. The band seemed to be banging their heads as much as the audience and guitarist Trey Pemberton was throwing himself around the stage. Despite not playing to a packed out room, Creeping Death definitely earned themselves some new fans and are one of a growing number of fantastic young bands ensuring the old ways of death metal are firmly kept alive.

Next up were progressive death metal band Alluvial who compared to Creeping Death brought a far more modern and contemporary sound with downtuned and groove laden riffs reminiscent of djent bands, mixed with plenty of breakdowns that are a key component of the deathcore sound.  Originally formed as an instrumental progressive death metal band, Alluvial have switched style and brought in vocalist Kevin Muller whose hardcore bark ensured he dominated on stage.  Drummer Matthew Paulazzo dazzled with a performance that balanced technical precision and brutal ferocity whilst guitarist Wes Hauch also impressed with gnarly riffs, impressive solos and technical ability.  Another short 30 minute set where the band got down to business and blasted out songs from their “Sarcoma” album such as ‘The Putrid Sunrise’ and ‘Sleepers Become Giants’.  Alluvial don’t perform my preferred style of death metal but there was no denying that this was a cracking performance from them.

In the main support slot were New Orleans black/death/thrash legends Goatwhore. Goatwhore are a band that just scream METAL, from the bands look to their imagery and their sound which incorporates the gnarliest and ugliest elements from many extreme subgenres of metal.  Goatwhore were determined to kick faces in and destroy eardrums with an absolutely blistering and ferocious performance which was the clear highlight of the evening.  A good chunk of the set was taken from the band’s latest album “Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven”, such as ‘The Bestowal Of Abomination’ and ‘Nihil’ but it was when the fan favourites were played that the crowd absolutely erupted with bodies crashing, smashing and obliterating each other to belters such as ‘Baring Teeth For Revolt’, ‘Collapse In Eternal Worth’ and ‘FBS’, though the absolute highlight of the set was ‘Apocalyptic Havoc’ which was played with such speed and intensity that I thought my face was going to cave in. Guitarist Sammy Duet is a bonafide New Orleans metal legend and ripped out a barrage of filthy riffs and flesh ripping solos while the rhythm section of Trans Am on bass and Zack Simmons on drums ensured that the audience was suitably pulverised.  Frontman Louis Benjamin Falgoust II is a commanding presence stalking the stage like a man possessed and roaring with a fervent intensity though ensuring he bumped fists with as many fans in the front of the crowd as he could whilst pacing back and forth. I’ve seen Goatwhore play before but this was easily the strongest performance I’ve seen from them and was easily the most metal 45 minutes of the year thus far.

I was expecting and slightly hoping that the audience had exhausted themselves during Goatwhore but this was far from the case and as soon as headliners Revocation hit the stage the crowd erupted with carnage and chaos far in excess of what the evening had seen beforehand. Revocation are a band that perfectly merge a very technical style with a truly vicious one and boy were this crowd ready for it. The stage was predominantly bathed in red light to match the hellish theme of latest album “Netherheaven” and there was plenty of dark ambient noise in between the songs as well as hellish, demonic and satanic samples from movies interspersed throughout, but the surging mass of bodies as well as the ever growing temperature in the venue meant it felt like hell for the audience on the floor. To say that Revocation are a tight live unit would be understatement of the century and frontman David Davidson is an insanely good guitarist ripping out jaw dropping solos left right and centre. He was perfectly complemented by touring guitarist Noah Young who is also a ridiculously talented musician. Bassist Brett Bamberger is the personality of the band and just seems to be having the time of his life on stage whilst pummelling out a mean rhythm section along with drummer Ash Pearson whose blast beats threatened the structural integrity of the venue.  A good deal of the set was drawn from “Netherheaven” and previous album “The Outer Ones” with songs such as ‘Nihilistic Violence’ and ‘That Which Consumes All Things’ causing impressive and at times worrying amounts of carnage from the surging crowd.  For older fans there were ferocious renditions of ‘Madness Opus’ and ‘Communion’ before the technical badassery of ‘Dismantle The Dictator’ brought the evening to a close. Revocation rounded off a crushing evening with a truly ferocious set and I think anyone in that audience was feeling the aches and pains the morning after. A delicious evening of death metal goodness.




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