Revelation are long since their humble inception in the mid to late 80’s considered to be one of the greatest doom bands period, and that opinion is openly expressed by members of such incredible doom acts as Solitude Aeturnus, Mirror of Deception, Warning, Gates of Slumber, Solstice, Argus, and so forth; and yet they never seem to get quite the coverage and notoriety as a Wino project (?). I’ve never been a Wino fan, it’s nothing against him or his projects, I think that the hype surrounding them tends to elevate them above many others just as worthy of recognition and praise, but between the soft spoken and mellow vocals of John Brenner and even the epic and emotional outbursts of intensity of Dennis Cornelius (ex-Revelation, Memory Driven) on vocals delivering such poetic lyrics it still befuddles me that they aren’t given more popular credit. I guess unlike Saint Vitus and Candlemass, or even Solitude Aeturnus, to many metal heads Revelation simply might not sound like “metal” but perhaps more of a 70’s hard rock/prog/proto-metal act, especially on the surface but if you even become familiar with their seriously gloomy and yet still dreamy album Never Comes Silence or the sonic and melodic, but still very moody and dreamy Release, and still can’t find the DOOM then it’s the holy grail of metal that you will never find my friend and I can safely assure anyone that doubts this is DOOM METAL should perhaps reinitiate themselves with doom and metal or move on elsewhere.
Much of Revelations sound is a mixture of Maryland doom post-Sabbath riffs backed and led by classic rock leads and groovy licks that make their songs buzzing churning mainline injections of rhythm and soul that will act quickly surging inside you as they simultaneously and subtly bliss you out into a psychedelic state of soaring solos and drawn out jams that leave you breathless, and Inner Harbor flaunts that talent of theirs right off the bat in the opening title track. But just before you get too blissed out and stoned on fuzzy amplifier soaked doom psychedelia they crank up the juice and send some serious voltage through you with the rhythmic swagger of “Terribilita” giving a nice wake-up call through some down-tuned hints of bluesy very hard rock backed by a wall of organ and a noodling prog bassline that wraps you up in a tapestry of Jethro Tull, Dust, High Tide meets early Pentagram and maybe even some Orodruin. And although I’m no Revelation expert I can cogently say that while Inner Harbor shows no loss of distinctive Revelation trademarks this album is definitely a progression for the band and a very natural one for them as well.
To my ears Inner Harbor represents a more groove laden up-tempo incarnation of Revelation which has not abandoned their characteristic use of long passages of melody and rhythm interplay which makes classics like “Spectre” so timeless and intense, but they have ince taken a more prog/psychedelic approach to them and thus lightened up the brooding and dimness fading into total blackness mood of the songs into pure boogie and even lets some light shine in. So whether or not you’re an established Revelation fan or not they really deserve your giving them a chance to blow your mind. I was talking to someone today who knows these guys first hand and his description of them aside from underrated outside the doom realm is that of being ‘…difficult doom…” and we agreed that if all doom has to be distinctly Cathedral, Saint Vitus, or Electric Wizard than over half of all doom including much of Black Sabbaths discography outside Paranoid is not DOOM. Sure, if you’re looking for wizards and warlocks, giant bongs and black masses, and droning avalanches of abysmal drone than you’re in the wrong aisle here…the kiddie area is over there somewhere, but if you’re looking for something that bridges the decades of heavy metal from it’s classic rock roots up to a much needed wake-up slap for today’s pathetic retro-minded state of metal-absent mindedness then Inner Harbor is a sucker punch between the eyes with brass knuckles that will keep your mind swirling around it’s majesty as you succumb to its seductive power.
Check out “Inner Harbor” below and tell me to “fuck off” if you still don’t think it rocks: