January 4th Cover and Spread. Dropkick Murphy’s. Boston, Phoenix. 2013.
The physical 212: an Allston room where two drum kits sit opposite each other in malign aspect, occult graffiti covers the walls, empties of every variety of shit beer cover the floor, and a stench of rot permeates everything. Deathgod Messiah vocalist Slarcus is on drums for Blessed Offal, a death-metal act that also features Ross S. formerly of Hirudinea, ex-Subjugator and Blood for Blood bassist Greg Dellaria, and Nachzehrer guitarist Amorok. Slarcus announces, “I like my lines like I like my women, thick and white!” The metaphysical 212: an incestuous degenerate Boston collective that is putting out some of the purest black and death metal, unfettered by trends, completely under the radar.
Out: Revocation display extreme metal form
With a line-up that placed hometown thrashers Revocation second on a bill in front of a touring package August 18 at Great Scott, PanzerBastard’s Andrew Bastard bluntly summed up why most were present at the Allston rock club: “I’m leaving after the first two bands.”
Celebrating the release of their third full-length, Chaos of Forms (Relapse), Revocation put on a streamlined set that made clear why they’ve garnered universal acclaim for a sound that’s both throwback to classic thrash and refreshingly modern — and why blog Metalsucks recognized Dave Davidson as the best guitarist in modern metal. New track “Cradle Robber” got a huge reception, showing a band now capable of penning anthems that match its technical prowess. The highlight for the hometown crowd came when Davidson sent a shout out to the fans who’ve been with them since the beginning and then played “Age of Iniquity,” a classic cut from their first album. It’s a track that — neo-thrash bandwagoners be damned — gave retro thrash a raison d’etre and a glimpse of where Revocation were headed.
The rest of the sold-out show raged just as hard. Ramming Speed kicked things off with an explosive set that had all the hesher kids with the beat-up kicks packing the front and stage diving. Looking a bit out of place considering the evening’s thrash overdose, Austin street punks Krum Bums had the unenviable task of following Revocation, but vocalist Dave Tejas kept the intensity up through sheer force of will. Featuring former members of White Wizzard, Holy Grail supplied classic NWOBHM in the vein of Screaming for Vengeance-era Priest and lost Teutonic masters Stranger — a nice counterpoint to the irradiated black thrash of final act, Toxic Holocaust.
Touring to support last month’s excellent Conjure and Command (Relapse), the Portland, Oregon, band capped off the night with some blistering new tracks and by reaching back to their ‘03 sound (by way of Kreator and Bathory in ‘86) with “War Is Hell” off debut Evil Never Dies (Relapse). It had the diehards packed up front chanting along, and even Andrew Bastard changed his mind and stuck around.