REVULSION - REVULSION
Updated: Apr 10, 2021
Finland's elusive death squad finally get their gory finger out.
Revulsion are not prolific. Their entire recording output from an existence going back over a decade and a half amounts to a mere handful of low-fi demos while live they are largely untested. Even this full-length debut has, despite its slow-motion gestation, an unfussy run-time of 37 minutes. Who knows what they have been up to throughout all this time, and perhaps few would wish to know, but they clearly haven't mellowed. While Revulsion may not have unleashed anything novel, ground-breaking or genius, they have served up a mortuary slab worth of uncompromising, straight-up death metal bludgeon. If you are a fan of the genre, then with this you cannot really go wrong.
Despite Revulsion's meagre discography, this first album sounds assured, experienced and cogent. Last Echoes of Life - a natural album opener - is meaty, cranked-up, ugly death metal. Precision blastbeats and double kick pedalling batter and rattle through muddied, muscular down-turned guitars and a fidgety, wobbly bass while the guttural vocals from Aleksi Huhta sound like a sasquatch in a torture basement. Indeed, Huhta puts in a hefty shift throughout. This is pummelling, back-to-basics stuff and it doesn't relent thereafter. Pyre and Walls follow with some rip-roaring death that will satiate those pining for the kind of classic brutalism that got them into this genre in the first place. Revulsion can also change up the tempos with slower, grinding doom with an ominous morbid atmosphere that is just as intense as the hyper-speed thrash.
Stylistically, this is somewhere nearer the Florida swamps than the lakes of Finland with a murky, morbid sound reminiscent of the early Morrissound Studio productions. Certainly there are obvious overlaps with the bloodied bludgeon of Cannibal Corpse or elements of Morbid Angel and Suffocation. It is not, however, wholly a retro-recreationist celebration of 1990. Revulsion clearly have modern sensibilities with pneumatic precision battery reminiscent of Dying Fetus or even traces of deathcore slamming on the likes of the machinegun Wastelands.
Revulsion have one mode and that is pulverise. They have the atmosphere and sheer blunt force trauma that is unoriginal yet refreshing and downright heavy. With the assumed caveat of quality control, sometimes death metal like this only has to be itself. Unpretentious rather than revolutionary, dependable rather than novel, vulgar and as unlistenable to normal civilians 30 years ago as it is now.