Revel In Flesh
Manifested Darkness

The debut from Germany’s Revel in Flesh, Deathevocation, was one of the very best examples of Old School Swedish Death Metal, and one of my favorite releases of 2012. So a mere year later, here is the follow up and what do you really expect here? Of course its the same style, delivered with the gusto, same buzzsaw guitar tone and same nostalgic songwriting, but what would you expect from a band named after a classic Entombed song?

If anything, Manifested Darkness has an increased sense of pacing and urgency, with more galloping, blasting riffs as opposed to mid paced trots. But there is no arguing that these guys have the style absolutely nailed, and Entrails had better deliver to remain the kings of the style. Revel In Flesh isn’t reinventing the wheel, and those who are growing weary of this retro saturation might heave a tired sigh at yet another release of this style, but for genre diehards like me, this is about as good as it gets.

Above the fat, perfect guitar tone, the songs make no bones about obvious Entombed, Dismember and Grave influences. Catchy, hooky, with some slight atmospherics and Ralf Hauber’s (who also helps out with the upcoming Just Before Dawn release) deep vocals all come together for a complete homage. The raucous opener “Revel in Flesh” sets the tone with a bouncy gallop as does the blastier “Dominate the Rotten”, and familiar title track but even with what appears to be some increased, enjoyable aggression (i.e. “Torment in Fire”), where Revel in Flesh really stand out is the slower, more lumbering songs. Case and point “Deathmarch”, the seven minute “Operation Citadel” which imbues Hail of Bullets, and the album’s apex, “Rotting  in the Void”, a six minute monster with an opening riff so heavy it actually bottoms out of hearing range and is destined to be one of my favorite songs of the year.

As with Deathevocation, which offered a cover of Benediction‘s “Subconscious Terror”, Manifested Darkness contains a cover song, the CD version having a cover of Autopsy‘s “Twisted Mass of Burnt Decay” from the classic Severed Survival album. And don’t get too excited, the track titled “Warmaster” is alas, not a Bolt Thrower cover song but a sturdy track of its own, though it does a Bolt Thrower nod contained within.

After a few tasty appetizers from the likes of Abysme, Megascavenger, Kingdom, Sorcery, Terminate, Ulcer, Lifeless and such, Revel In Flesh, Entrails and Just Before Dawn look to serve the main course, and Manifested Darkness is the first gristle laden bite that tastes so familiar yet so good.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 10th, 2013

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