Revok "Bad Books and Empty Pasts" CDPosted on Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 @ 6:51am » permalink
The last time I wrote about an impressive French band, several people posted comments suggesting Revok, and before I could check them out for myself, the band actually contacted me and offered to send me their debut full-length, " Bad Books and Empty Pasts", on Rejuvenation Records. And holy shit, I absolutely understand why people were telling me to check this band out, because this is an absolutely excellent album that really has a lot to offer. The base of their approach should definitely appeal to fans of this niche of the French scene, what with its pulsing rhythms and dark, grating textures and scathing vocals. However, the direction in which they're heading is also incredibly distinct, and really sets them apart from other (often more standard) acts that explore these realms of "extreme music".
For one thing, the compositions explore a much wider range of influences, offering a more consistent sense of spaciousness and melody that makes for a completely uncategorizable big picture. Loads of killer, intricate basslines pulse and throb and roam to lay the groundwork alongside warm, natural percussion; while the guitars weave in, out, and around through a range of dissonant textures that brings to mind "noise rock", math metal, and even some emo/indie sensibilities. The vocals are also pretty colorful, often employing strange techniques that combine singing, speaking, and sneering – which really adds to the overall atmosphere of the material and fits in well within the spaciousness of the music. It's impressive how awesomely everything pieces together, really. I mean, the recording is superb, and the mix keeps one guitar on the left and the other on the right, thus allowing plenty of focus to fall towards the rhythm section. This also highlights the fact that the two guitars are damn near never doubling one another (or the bass, for that matter), so there's always something unique happening on all sides and layering together into the whole. Very fucking cool. Very. I'd be curious to hear if their two prior EP's were already at this level of curious innovation…
I knew the abyss like the back of my hand. I might have not seen the sun enough. Trying to hide the sky to broken mirror eyes. Failing in hearing the echoing voices of the old ones. The passed ones. Small blizzards passing through. It takes your hand and takes you for a walk or a ride. Hard to tell before the seizure hits. A lifetime effort sending you in a place filled with old books and bad attitudes. Like reading an article with synæsthesia and being washed in a cascade of confusing colors and perfumes. Until all senses are gone. Not making any sense anymore.
The disc is housed in a slick, glossy digipack with some simple yet intriguing artwork throughout the cover and six-panel foldout insert, which also contains the oft-cryptic lyrics. So… a nice release all around, this one. Certainly recommended, and though I'm not entirely sure about ordering information, I'd recommend contacting the band or the label on MySpace to see about getting your hands on this gem. And I received my copy from the band in less than a week if that influences your decision to act at all!