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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Absolution

The Revelation Diaries

Review by Travis Jensen

With the changing direction of the music industry today, you are almost always faced with dilemmas of what to do when it comes to selecting music; online downloads, MP3’s, IPOD’s, etc. have literally turned purchasing music upside down, and with more negative effects to those who have to make a living at it. However, every once in awhile there comes a band down the pipeline that stands out from the rest, a band who is cutting edge and worth the money being spent on an entire compact disc. That band is called “Absolution” and they are about to set the world on fire!

This is their debut album released in March of this year, and as we have all learned from the top bands of the past, the first one is usually always the best, because that is when they are emotionally raw, full of energy and hungry for getting to the top. Having been natives of Los Angeles, this five-piece has been kicking butt throughout the California club scene since 2004 and has been on tour most recently with bands such as Warbringer and Exmortus and have also shared the same stage with metal veterans Nevermore and Overkill.

This fierce group of metal gods consists of Dave Deroscher on vocals, Chaz Leon on rhythm and lead guitar, Matt Schneider on lead and rhythm guitars, Eric Chaves on bass guitar and Eric Jackson on drums. With influences such as Megadeth, Metallica, Children Of Bodom, Dream Theater, Slayer and Rush, one can only guess that they are nothing less than metal virtuosos. 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Cobra
An intro is always cool for any metal group. The bleak sound effects and eerie vibe get you ready for something frightful yet exciting. It’s the kind of feeling you get in a horror movie seconds before someone is about to get brutally murdered.
Armageddon
Now this is the way to start an album! The first track is what you are initially introduced to as a solid first impression, of course, which will set the pace for the remaining tracks and keep you interested in the rest. This one is very forceful, kind of like a volcanic eruption. The vocals are phenomenal and are strongly backed by ripping guitar solos and a head-pounding rhythm section. This one will be hard to top!

Bleed Victory
 I love the guitar and drum build-up beginning in this one that leads right into the screeching vocals of Dave Deroscher. The rest of the song still maintains the same energy all the way through the last note, mostly because of the driving drums and blistering guitar solo.
Reflections of Hate
There is a killer rhythm and great main riff here! This is where I sense the Megadeth influence coming through in full force. What I appreciate the most is the way these guys make it their own aside from any other outside influences. The drums are probably the more prominent part of this song as it comes through like crashing waves on the rocks of an ocean shore.
Eternal Ascension
Chaz Leon leads the way like a Roman gladiator on his way to battle with the guitars here…it makes me wonder if his fingers are bleeding after this. This is probably one of my favorite songs on the album thus far. The vocals are just incredible, and the bridge parts are a nice change which also adds more of an overall interest to the song. The metal version of classical and guitar harmonies at the end is also a nice way to cap it off.
Seven Deadly Sins
This track is a suitable change from the first five songs, which keep things alive musically, in my opinion. However, it’s not one of my most liked songs, mostly because of the vocal rhythm which seem a little remedial in comparison to those before it. By the time the second verse comes along it seems a little redundant and uninteresting. The guitars and double-bass towards the end are definitely a plus, though.
The Servant of Liars
This is the track where I like the individuality of each instrument coming together to make something extremely triumphant. The lyrics of this song are of particular interest to me, as it briefly describes the downfall of western civilization and those partially responsible. The last line in the second verse goes on to say, “Now the land our fathers died for, becomes our enemies’ home.” This seems to tie directly to the darker side created by the music itself.
Mask of Liberty
I love the beginning of this one…very dark, heavy and mysterious. The guitars are a fantastic compliment to the build-up to one of the best displays of Deroscher’s vocal ability. In the last 20 or so times that I’ve listened to this album, I skip directly to this track first, and then I can go back and start at the beginning.
Erase
This song has me on the fence on things I like and don’t like. The lyrics are cool, and there are guitar parts in the bridge that stand out and hold it together. Yet the short choppy lyrics in the verses seem a little too repetitive. Perhaps the higher vocal parts don’t seem to fit the style of the song either. However, the drums and guitar solo at the end really seem to save the credibility of the song.
Savior
This is where the influence of Kerry King comes out with the guitar and the same with the late, great Cliff Burton from Metallica on bass. What I like about this one is the fact that the lyrics start practically at the beginning which is a nice change of pace from the early cuts where it seems a little lengthy in terms of the introduction. This is a quick song that gets the musical message across fast and furiously. The only part about this song I don’t too much care for is the chorus because each word is drawn out too long and matches the beats of the rhythm guitar.
Blind Reality
This song starts out completely different than the rest. The driving beat and grooving rhythm make this another personal favorite for me. The backing vocals also stand out prominently, which displays the versatility and obvious talent of the remaining band members. There seems to be more of a raw edge to the guitar which is sort of a throwback to what metal was 25 years ago. This song would be awesome to hear live.
Human
There is such speed and accuracy with this one. Since Dream Theater is another of the bands listed as influences, I can see why they did this. I hate to sound like a broken record and dwell on influences, but the musical precision is just incredible and probably the pinnacle of the band’s superior ability. What a way to end an album, with such a neck-breaker like this! Eric Chaves on the bass guitar is all over the fret board…my god; I wish he played bass for my band!
 
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