Revelation – Inner Harbor

Revelation-Inner_Harbor-CC

By Gruesome Greg

A new album is always a welcome sight from this longstanding Maryland doom trio, and there’s been no shortage of material between Revelation and side-project Against Nature over the years. This latest record (lucky number seven, if you’re keeping track at home) is evidently named in homage to their native Baltimore, and offers six tracks in an even 36 minutes.

The title track leads things off with the same blend of lazy-bottle blues doom that’s come to characterize the band’s recent catalogue, their collective love of 70’s rock and prog oozing out of every note. But there’s enough lingering despondent heaviness here to allow them to still loosely cling to the doom tag first affixed in the late 80’s, which is music to my ears.

“Terribilita” oozes down-south Spanish groove a la ZZ Top, with some tasty Moog synthesizer(!?) thrown in for good measure. As much of an odd combination as it may sound, it works surprisingly well, though the song sorta shuffles off into spacey prog territory right around the three-quarter mark with more emphasis on the Moog. “Rebecca at the Well” gives off a bit more of a traditional doom vibe at first with some soaring guitar bends, while becoming progressively more progressive with its share of tasty keyboard patterns. A case of doom-metal mind meld with the other John, Sir Gallo of Blizaro, perhaps?

“Eve Separated” continues the merger of trad-doom and 70’s-style cult classics, a nice meaty riff culled from heavy rock’s heyday. Meanwhile “Jones Falls,” the longest song at a shade over seven minutes, harkens back to the Revelation of yore, with their distinctly melodic, melancholic take on what is undeniably doom. I don’t even mind that the 80’s keyboards make their most Robocopian appearance (and multiple appearances, at that) right smack-dab in the middle of this one. Hey, it almost adds ambiance, or something…

“An Allegory of Want” ends things on a somewhat sleepy, mellow note, winding it down nicely with some slow-mo riffs, squealing synths and mournful cries, kicking up into a mid-paced Sabbath shuffle towards the finish line. Although this album’s about as short as a Saint Vitus chestnut, it offers enough cohesive diversity to make it seem like a much longer-lasting listening experience. Highly recommended for a snowy early evening of mid-March madness. (Yes, this was submitted in March and I fucked up not posting till now – DA ED)

(Shadow Kingdom)
RATING: 9

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.