Review by Mike Paradine
Title: “Warning” EP
Label: Self release
1) Strange Dreams
2) Under the Gun
3) Another Lie
New released singles-2014:
1) Grip of Darkness
2) Dead man Walking
I have this usual routine when I review bands. I’ll listen to the CD several times at home with no distractions to get a good feel for the music. Then I’ll listen for a final time on the way to work before putting on the finishing touches on notes that I had previously written. Well about a half hour into driving the other day, going around a curve, I was immediately met with a dead raccoon that was smashed all over the road. Having no time to avoid it, I had no choice but to run over it. Since it had been already pulverized, I didn’t feel too bad about it, but as I drove over it’s flattened body, I heard a snap. Not thinking anything of it, I continued on. Not till work was over at the end of the day, had I learned that I had a flat tire. It seems the snap I heard was of one of the road kills bones breaking off and inserting itself into my left front tire. Great, this delays my trip home to complete this review and probably hit traffic on the way after I get it fixed. Is anything ever easy?????
Now finally arriving at home, the band that I’m reviewing at this moment is a band from Stockholm, Sweden called REVELATIONS. I’ve been given their new single “Grip of Darkness” and a previous EP released back in July 2013 titled, “Warning”. Now before I listen to their material, let me guess…just from their name, another band ripping off IRON MAIDEN. I’ve heard thousands of these bands. Digging deeper, I take a look at their logo and I sense something different. The artwork seems to say, a more 60’s or groove oriented band. So now I’m totally baffled but it has piqued my interest a bit.
I’m gonna start off with the EP and then journey my way up to the present just to see where the band takes me. It’s always interesting to see how a band starts and finishes through time. The first song I come to is “Strange Dreams” and right from the first bass note, I have it right from the beginning. It is a total rip off of “Running Free”. They even sing the words “Running Free” in the beginning of the song which I hope is a nod telling the listener, “Yeah we know, that you know, that we know, we ripped it off” kind of thing. But the interesting thing about this song is that the vocal melody makes this song work. The singer on this EP, Thomas Berggren sounds nothing like any Maiden vocalist but you can hear a lot of Mick Jones from FOREIGNER or Chris Cornell in spots. An odd mixture but it works, I like this song a lot!
The second song “Under the Gun” starts with a SABBATH riff but follows immediately into a SOUNDGARDEN type sound. The Chris Cornell vocals are prominent here as well as the song writing. This song steps more into the 90’s territory than any other era.
“Another Lie” is a heavily groove inspired number and again more Soundgarden influence is heard here.
The last song is the same as the last 3 songs. “Jealousy” is from the same mold. Again more Soungarden or Chris Cornell influence. As with the others we have a good flow of the vocal melody and the listener can easily follow along.
Now as far as this EP is concerned, it is pretty good for the style that they play. Though they describe themselves as Maiden and Sabbath sounding, it more lies with the Soundgarden playing Black Sabbath riffs. Soundgarden has stolen practically every Sabbath riff ever played and then set it to a more modern rock sound. The same goes here. The band are capable musicians who can work their instruments well. The first song though has no connection to the other 3. I found that “Strange Dreams” is a more compelling song as the band took two different styles, mixed them together and somehow made it work. The other songs, though very well crafted, all seem to be connected but coming from the more modern rock of the 90’s which I have no desire for.
Which takes us to the bands current material and new vocalist, Lasse Gudmundssen? The band has released two new songs, “Grip of Darkness” and “Dead Man Walking”. Now with “Dead Man Walking” it reaches into the 70’s rock feel but with a modern sound. Vocals are a cross between the band Jet but with the vibrato of Justin Hawkins of the British band, THE DARKNESS. Not an impressive song but it is considered by the band as B-side material.
With “Grip of Darkness’ the band brings to light, early Sabbath with the slow and doom-has-come riffs. Midway through, the music picks up and we are galloping into familiar heavy metal territory. Lasse Gumundssen vocals surely compliment the music here…they fit perfectly for this song. His style of singing is very similar to Patrick Johansson of another Swedish metal band, LION’S SHARE.
Like the splattered animal that I came across earlier, this band is all over the road. They have a few different styles but none that can be released together as a whole CD. But they are a very good band in both their performance and song writing. On one hand,
the songs that are in the Soundgarden vein would put a smile on the face of any fan in that genre. With good hooks and melodies the band could continue on in this style but my preference would be for them to stick to the traditional metal that they have shown. Not because the 90’s sound has come and gone and hopefully will never be heard of again but the new vocalist has a good and distinct sound made for the more traditional metal. Revelations is a good and professional sounding band which I look forward to hearing future material. This was a very hard band to evaluate considering all the different styles but based on song writing, performance and sound, I have to give them 7 out of 10. They just need to settle on one style of music.
Lasse Gudmundsson – Vocals.
Anders Stafrén – Guitar.
Daniel Ramírez – Bass Guitar.
Janne Backlund – Drums.