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Absolution: The Revelation Diaries
Heavy/Thrash Metal
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Los Angeles based metal band Absolution is on a mission. Actually, I think it's a two-fold mission. First, Absolution wants to reinvigorate the American heavy/thrash metal scene which is basically on life support these days. Second, with 'The Revelation Diaries,' they wish to awaken the masses to what the believe is the sorry state of the American social and political culture. The former is much needed. The latter is a formidable task. In their words, America is a 'country hijacked by politicians, members of the media, the clergy and those that possess an unquenchable thirst for power, money and control.' 'The Revelation Diaries' is intended to be a 'direct assault on religion, politics, and the power mad, corrupt citizens that threaten not only the future of the U.S. but mankind as a whole.' In light of these high aspirations two questions need to be asked. First, is the music good enough to accomplish the first mission. Regarding the second purpose, does Absolution merely raise the alarm or do they provide solutions? My guess is that you probably did not want to think this much when reading a music review.

As for the first question: Absolution has the enthusiasm, skill and talent to deliver some of the best modern thrash heavy metal I heard in years. The glory days of early Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Exodus, Slayer and others surge through their veins and their music. Ultimately, if you want to speak only of the music, this is grand stuff. It' heavy, fast, and melodic. Though Dave Deroscher's vocals often verge on screamo and death metal, his passion is clearly evident. And the guitar work is simply brilliant: it roars and rips through every song. Take note of these songs: 'Reflections Of Hate,' a personal and introspective look into our own prejudices and hatred; 'Seven Deadly Sins,' melodic and captivating; 'Erase,' exceedingly speedy with versatile vocals from Mr. Deroscher; and the phenomenal 'Blind Reality,' a truly inspired number rich in vocal arrangement and musical composition.

Now as for the second question, if solutions are evident for our political and cultural crisis, they are not found here. Frankly, Absolution does well pointing out our societal flaws. But they lack one simple thing: hope. Without this 'The Revelation Diaries' is merely another fine metal album. And that it is. If you're going to go down that road of pointing the finger, then remember there are four still pointing back to you. Metal is the perfect venue to speak to real issues; it would do better to speak to solutions.

This has probably been my most editorial review to date. But Absolution put the issues on the table and in their music. In the end, I review music. And Absolution has produced some of the best heavy metal on this side of the Atlantic in years. Very recommended!

In Short

American metal band Absolution breathes new life into the American heavy/thrash metal genre with their thought provoking and stunning debut, 'The Revelation Diaries.' Intense, heavy, melodic and rich in substance, Absolution delivers their political and social commentary with skill and enthusiasm.

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