Monday, April 1, 2013

... REVELATION 'Inner Harbor' (album review)

April 30th, 2013 will see the CD release of 'Inner Harbor', the newest album from long-running Maryland Doom outfit REVELATION.

Digitally available for about 6 months (as most of their stuff via their own label Bland Hand rds), this 7th album maintains the solid rythm of production of the band's  since their comeback in 2008, being their 3rd full-length in this period, not forgetting one split 12'' with Lord Vicar and the unreleased 'revelation' album from 1988 that Church Within released too in between.

Did you ever consider the fact that this band has teamed-up with a bunch of cult labels since 25 years by now ? Hellhound, Rise Above, Leafhound, Church Within and now Shadow Kingdom for the CD format (and soon Pariah Child rds for the vynil edition), impressive list ... If not the first that come in mind when speaking about titans of Doom, their name and history are much respected and evoke obviously at least a couple of cult albums and most of the truest values of Doom.

Like I had read here and there, to consider this 'Inner Harbor' as a (missed - or not) departure from their earlier material seems a bit unfair to my opinion; 'for the sake of no one' had yet opened a few doors towards different progressive fields and a song here like 'Eve Seperated', if necessary, reminds that Against Nature may be another cause or reason of this evolution, this one could have eventually been on one of their 2nd project album a few years ago (but there's no confusion of genres at all here).

In my opinion in fact it's more a question of tone, Revelation has had that very melodic, progressive approach for quite some time now but were still enveloping it in their caracteristic mournful approach whereas now this tone turned into something a lot more 70's like, more placid, cosmic and unbridled at times too (but never too much, songs are not too long, no jammin' free style... nothing to disconcert their true fans).
Like on the awesome 'Rebecca at the Well' which still encompasses everything that have ever evoked REVELATION to their fans and make this album simply beautiful : plodding Doom riffage, memorable melodies, a true passion for heavy music with a subtle taste for alternating and/or mixing creepy and melodic stuff, peaceful and tense moments... and it's not the only song that contains pure Doom believe me !

More than ever on this album the complicity between Brenner and Hall works amazingly,  and the addition of keyboards often accompanies perfectly that nice duality too - the song it's the most present in is  'Terribilita', it has one of that intense and dark  Doom riff typical of Brenner  which is transposed with those keys into a kind of drugs-infused mood, shared somewehere in the dark and unknown between euphoria and hypnotism, it turns little by little into progressive free territories with soaring multilayered lead-guitar and a psyched-out rampage that I would have even wished longer and wilder ! 
That will be maybe for next time, as the band proves with this album that Revelation has still a lot to offer and invent, which I think is a promise that just a few can assume to their fans !!!

With 'Eve Seperated', 'Jones Falls' is another more classic rockin' song, a bit doomier though, with vibrant and anchoring bass lines; after a pinching solo the song ends with slightly haunting keyboards that give again a dark touch of 70's italian progressive rock.

From its first notes, the closing 'An Allegory of Want' announce the most atmospheric piece of the album, allowing Brenner precision on the arrangements to be at their peak of creativity and emotions, remarkably cohesive in the growing of its flow with evocative and passionate vocals, (again a song that could have been longer !).

Revelation is still Revelation, still counts among the most authentic and faithful Doom bands and one can simply not reproach to a musician to bring his band to a new level of composition, more audacious, more adventurous while keeping the essence of its identity... I recognize it may needs a bit more listenings than usual for longtime fans to get 100% into it but its richness will grow on you and I'm sure it'll end in your top 3 of the band just like it did on me.
HIGHLY recommended for fans of Progressive DOOM, and now let's hope that with its  effective physical releases this album will get the exposure it strongly deserves !

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