The latest Revocation album – The Outer Ones – is probably my favourite thing that the band have released. Upping both the progressive and death metal components of Revocation’s sound, the album is as monstrous as its album cover.
Let’s gain some additional insight into this sterling new release, courtesy of guitarist/vocalist David Davidson…
What are your influences?
Death, black and thrash metal as well as jazz and classical music.
Name five things you’ve listened to recently that you’d recommend
Anata – Under A Stone With No Inscription
Virus – The Black Flux
John Coltrane – The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings
György Ligeti – Etudes Pour Piano
Tell us about The Outer Ones
It’s 9 tracks of Lovecraftian, proggy death metal, chock full of riffs intended to summon Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Azathoth or any other cosmic demon of your choosing.
There’s definitely an increase in the progressive and death metal components of your sound on this album – was this intentional or just something that happened?
I think it was a little bit of both. Death metal has always been a core part of our sound but I think it’s more prevalent now than ever. We also toured with a lot of classic DM bands on our last tour cycle, watching bands like Morbid Angel, Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse night after night definitely made an impact on us and made us want to bring out those death metal influences even more.
With this in mind, how would you say this latest release of yours compares to your previous work?
I think it continues down the darker path that we’ve been on ever since “Deathless” came out but it definitely stands out amongst our catalogue as our boldest musical statement to date.
What were the lyrical inspirations for The Outer Ones?
I took a lot of inspiration from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. The opening track is inspired by Lovecraft’s “The Dreams In The Witch House” while the title track is inspired by Lovecraft’s whole mythos in general. However, not every song was inspired by Lovecraft’s writings. “Luciferous” for example used biblical references stemming form the story of The Garden of Eden while “Fathomless Catacombs” was a story of my own creation about 3 grave robbers that are cursed after seeking treasure in a forbidden crypt.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
At the moment I would say it’s the title track, we’re opening our current tour with it and it just hits hard as fuck while still being quite progressive. “Vanitas” is up there for me as well, I think it has the potential to be one of the sleeper hits from the record.
Tell us about why you chose to put the songs in the order you did and how does this impact on the flow of the album?
I liked having the back to back rippers right out of the gate to really showcase the aggressive nature of the band. In general I think about the beginnings and endings of each song and I’ll imagine how they could flow into one another. I think the album has a great flow to it and definitely takes the listener on a journey. I’ll go back and forth on several tracklists in my mind until it feels right. Sometimes you get lucky though and you just know immediately what the album needs to start or end with, after I finished writing “A Starless Darkness” I knew it was going to be the final track since it’s so epic and progressive.
What are your ambitions for The Outer Ones?
I hope it’s our biggest record yet and based on the feedback I’ve seen so far from fans I think that it’s going to be a very real possibility. People have been really stoked on the album and the reaction we’ve been getting live has been super positive.
How does it feel to have this album released to the world?
We’re all stoked that it’s finally out. We finished recording the album in the early spring of 2018 so we’ve just been playing the waiting game for the past 6 months. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive so I’m glad it was worth the wait for our fans.
Are you happy with the end result?
Yeah I think Zeuss did a great job with the mixing and mastering on this one. The mix is clear and punchy but also maintains that raw aggression that we were looking for.
Tell us about the album cover art and how it links to the music
Tom Strom created the album cover, he was the same artist that we used for both “Deathless’ and “Great Is Our Sin” It was great to work with Tom again and I think he really knocked it out of the park with this one. I think his painting is the perfect representation of “The Outer Ones” it’s dripping with cosmic horror and I’m sure it would make Lovecraft proud.
Playing live – essential or pointless?
Essential, listening to recorded music is great but I feel like it’s even more moving when you experience it live.
What goals do you have for your future live shows in support of this release?
Our goals are to play this material as tightly as we possibly can with a whole new level of production. Dan and Brett worked really hard to program an awesome light show that syncs up with the music which I think really takes our live show to the next level. We also rehearsed our asses off prior to leaving for this tour to make sure the songs were as tight as possible.
What are the next steps for Revocation?
We’ll be heading out to Colombia to play Knotfest with Judas Priest at the end of October and after that we’ll be doing a full European headline tour in December.
Any final words?
Thanks for the interview!