Having a genuine soft spot for the dense, black, molten hell-lava of Pete Helmkamp's ANGELCORPSE, entering the REVENGE camp was a bit alienating for me. This confession having been dispensed with, I still can't hope to see REVENGE through anything but Helmkamp-coloured glasses, so I'll just have to get on with it...The lead vocals handled by Canadian drummer T. Read, sound like the poor man has been lassoed by the scrotum and yanked upon hard and yet even harder at the end of each vocal phrase, while straddling an endless, gigantic razor blade. I believe this was exactly the intention, though putting the Hellspawned Hellgrowl of Hellpaced Helmkamp as a seldom-heard aside I view as a mistake. It is when the corpse of ANGELCORPSE opens its rotting, maggot-spewing maw alongside the shrill and agonized shrieks of Read, do we find the desired contrast and variety which REVENGE so sorely needs. Otherwise, another sack-tortured ditty of unimaginable pain becomes tiresome, repetitive and inane...At worst, a farce brimming with potential to manifest the new generation's SPINAL TAP.
As opposed to the ANGELCORPSE hack-slash-slice-cut-sideswipe-decimate-detonation, REVENGE has more of a bludgeon-squash-strafe-beat-sledgehammer-shellfire approach, not surgical and precise, but messy and filthy. The guitar handled by a "Revenge Genocide Squad" of "Session deathaxe annihilation," is planted firmly in the background (except for exhaustively repeated, barely-credible pick-scratches along strings hot with distortion-overdriven amps up to 11), in favour of Helmkamp's muddy but dominant, destructive "Sturmgeschuetz Attack Bass." This is staunchly and more than competently backed up by Read's - you guessed it - "Hellhammers," which focus readily on harshly battered quarter note bomb-drops that are then halved into cut-time blasts.
Some nice hell-segues into rapid triplet-driven grooves of Satanic-evil-badness, while Helmkamp plays variations on the Death Metal twelve-bar and you 've got this one down. Yes, much more primitive and Neanderthal-ish than ANGELCORPSE could ever hope to be, so I find myself a bit of a fish out of water. Not to say I haven't festered a throbbing, pustulated boil of affection for REVENGE's all-out militarized stompfest campaign of Satanic hatred, it is underground and WAY kult. But liner note verbosity along the lines of "Self command nihilistic spearhead infinite conquest genocide" elicit a tired yawn from my jaded cakehole. Decked out in more bullet belts than Pancho Villa could shake his little stick at, Read and Helmkamp are pictured in the booklet as baddest-ass Satanic guerrilla commandos. Indeed, here is the revenge in REVENGE and if I hadn't heard it a billion times before, I'd probably love it. Things teeter along the edge of my patience, however, when phrases like "purifying butchery," "extermination," "genocide," "higher blood born," "supremacist," "elitist," "enslave," "rule," "hate," and "inferior absolution" are used one or multiple times, all alongside each other. At this point, I get off the Satanic Militia train, but I have a grand old time blasting away to the brutallic riffery. (Online December 3, 2005)