Monday 24 June 2013

Revelation - Inner Harbor (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 30/4/2013
Label : Shadow Kingdom Records

Inner Harbor, track listing:
1. Inner Harbor 6:50
2. Terribilita 4:34
3. Rebecca at the Well 5:48
4. Eve Separated 4:45
5. Jones Fall 7:04
6. An Allegory of Want 6:00

Revelation have been around for ages and have earned the respect of many bands and fans from all around the world for virtually creating the Progressive Doom Metal genre.   They’ve taken the very best sounds of Rush, Black Sabbath, and early Heavy Metal and have created yet another masterpiece with “Inner Harbor”.  This is probably their most fluid and laid-back release to date.  It’s hard to describe the sound here, but if you start with classic REVELATION, mixed in with a dash of 70’s Italian Progressive Rock, that will get you close to what they’ve created here.  The music flows through you so smoothly and freely, that you’re going to feel like you’re in a state of deep relaxed meditation

Line up:
Steve Branagan - Drums
John Brenner - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Bert Hall Jr. - Bass

The seventies gave us a great many things to be thankful for: prog rock, Black Sabbath, the Ford Capri, the afro… but the most pertinent thing is the combined legacy of everything the seventies had to offer.  Baltimore’s classic doom metal trio Revelation have taken the lessons of this strange and creative decade and used them to create ‘Inner Harbor’, a six-track rock tour de force with catchy hooks and trippy tales. 

Album opener ‘Inner Harbor’ is a mellow yet dark shard of seventies stoner groove, with elegant solos and powerful riffs.  The sound is reminiscent of the Grateful Dead, with some hits of Hawkwind and a few tokes of Black Sabbath added to the mix.  The entire album feels as though it’s a living road-movie: it should be playing as you’re driving along a desert highway, seeing strange sights and imbibing strange substances.  Inner Harbor’ (the song) is where your journey begins: a full tank of gas in your vehicle, a wide-open road at your wheels. 

‘Terribilita’ is where you kick your bike into high gear and feel the wind whipping around you.  The musical scenery is constantly shifting around you, new sounds passing you by on your journey as you continue moving along the open road.  A bass solo rumbles in like a State Trooper, menacing and matching your speed.  That’s when some crazy riffs turn the drive into a chase across rocky terrain and over a massive jump over a chasm.  When you land with a thud, ‘Rebecca at the Well’ greets you with a smile.  Here you rest a while with her and her dark, soulful song.  When you have to leave her, it’s with sorrowful guitar solos and regretful looks back.  But the road beckons, and your journey is not over yet. 

As the skies darken, ‘Eve Separated’ keeps your speed up and your mind set.  This is a pure, full-throttle stoner rock anthem, with a simple yet mesmerising main riff that keeps you on the road and striving to find the American Dream.  As the music twists and turns, you find yourself easing around each corner, smiling wildly as you do so.  The sun may be setting, but the mood is still all about the journey. 

Jones Falls’ is where the road gets dark and rather bumpy.  The pace slows significantly, but the moon is shining high in the night sky, making proceedings a slightly less dangerous affair.  The guitars haunt the empty roads, almost howling their way around you like a pack of coyotes.  Keep your nerve steady: you’re almost at an end. 

When there’s no more land to explore, you reach a coastline and an immense sea.  Gaze out.  This is journey’s end, and ‘An Allegory of Want’ is your reward.  It is a slow, spacey tune, with slight Hawkwind overtones and a smattering of Caravan.  You’ve been travelling for quite a while now; and this view and this song is for you.  It eases the mind and unburdens the senses: it’s melancholy, but also hopeful.  Inner Harbor’ is an album of discovery: of travelling to unknown plains and seeking new experiences.  The best part is, every time you listen to this album the journey you take subtly changes: you hear something new, or pick up some lyric you didn’t fully appreciate.  Take a trip down that musical highway with Revelation’s ‘Inner Harbor’: it’s a ride you don’t want to pass up. 

Words by : Chris Markwell

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch. This record is available now. Thanks as always to Clawhammer PR for the hook up.