SKULL218

REVENGE, Triumph, Genocide, Antichrist  (2003, Osmose Productions)

The skull:
The leader of Revenge, James Read, is clearly a skull-worshipper. Another of his bands, Conqueror, is also enshrined in our Skullection (Skull155). And most Revenge releases feature a prominent skull doing something naughty, in the consistently uniform design that the band’s releases share. We won’t induct all of them, as the Council has a rule about such things, so it makes sense to go with the debut album. This cover design resembles the Conqueror album reviewed earlier in its bleak, spiky, barbed-wire, skully looking self. This little guy is encircled in barbed wire and seemingly mounted on King Diamond’s microphone holder. Cryptic and foreboding looking stuff.

The music:
Not that far away from Conqueror, actually, this album flies by in a hellish 31-minute smear. Totally gonzoid speed, equally apeshit vocals, bloodcurdling intensity everywhere…this is an exhausting listen, and while it’s fun for a few minutes, it gets old quick. And this from someone who can sit down and listen to Beherit, Nuclear Death and Sarcofago for hours. Yet Revenge is something else. It’s like that stuff, but 10 times more piercing, less organic, and just annoying. Maybe it’s the precision Angelcorpse-esque edge that turns me off (ie. boring after 5 minutes). It’s this monochromatic glaze that takes away any real vibrancy or attractiveness. Makes sense that Revenge sounds like Conqueror meets Angelcorpse, because Pete Helmkamp was a member of Revenge at this point. Crazy fuckers playing crazy music. Not for the faint of heart.
— Friar Wagner

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