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[Review] Death Requisite – Revisitation

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Death Requisite, an American symphonic death metal band that began in the year 1999, split up in 2005 and then reunited in 2010 and has been going since. They have four extended playlists or Eps and two full length albums. The band are self-proclaimed “hybrid metal” – a term generally used by bands that think their sound is hard to nail down into an exact subgenre of metal. However, on the 2016 full length I am reviewing: Revisitation, the band is best described as symphonic death metal.

Revisitation has certainly received a good amount of attention, as of December 2016 Revisitation was on page one of bandcamp’s bestsellers under the tag “extreme metal” besting notable bands such as Abbath. Although in my experience, being a best seller or gaining a reputation does not equate to good music. I have followed Death Requisite for a couple of years now. I was first acquainted with music from their release Second Death, I also have their Christmas song called Neonate Messiah, and in general their music usually had poor production but a decent amount of potential. Thankfully the first improvement with Revisitation opposed to previous releases would be a solid step up in production. In order for symphonic bands to shine, I think there needs to be proper production, raw symphonic bands may have a niche but nobody really listens to raw classical music. It does look as though the band did record independent of a studio, which may worry some, but as a reminder there are other bands that have done this to great effect – such as Canada’s Monolith on albums like Nexus. Death Requisite isn’t quite on par with Monolith in terms of recording production, but they have done well. The guitars and bass have tone that can match that of a studio, the vocal recording is clean and keyboards are as they should be. I think the only thing I thought could improve with production were the drums, the drums sound like they were done on an electronic drum kit. It’s not that the drums sound poor quality, although some of the samples could be improved to be less noticeable. Monolith also used an electronic kit, sometimes I think it is just the samples you use. A lot of bands nowadays, from commercial acts like Slipknot to lesser known bands like Brain Drill will record with acoustic drum kits but then sample parts of the kit. There is a certain aesthetic about having an acoustic kit, but with the given direction that I believe Death Requisite would take for better production, perhaps all they need are better samples.

Now to get down to the music part of this – if I were to introduce you to Death Requisite as if you had never heard of them, I would compare them to the band Dark Lay Still… Only Death Requisite is faster, heavier, less black metal and more death metal. Vincent St. James and Kevin Able even have a similar voice and vocal range, but Vincent in favour of death metal likes to keep things guttural and low. The guitarists of Death Requisite unlike the guitarists of Dark Lay Still play guitar solos and Death Requisite’s drummer doesn’t like playing slowly for longer than he has to. Regnal the bassist prefers to fill that bass canyon and not poke out too much. I am uncertain who plays the keyboards or writes the symphonic parts in Death Requisite, as the information is not really that available, but whoever it is they did their job spot on. Unlike some symphonic death metal bands, like Fleshgod Apocalypse where the moment they got a full time keyboardist the band became an accompaniment to the keyboard, in Death Requisite the keyboard is an accompaniment to the band. Although Death Requisite does end their album with a lengthy classical piece or solo keyboard track by whoever handles that part of the band, which is more of a medley of other songs than just its own thing.

Overall Revisitation has proved enjoyable and re-listenable. It seems to be a large improvement from older works. If Death Requisite continues this path, they could start turning a lot of heads and become something big. Until then though…

I would give this album 79 out of 100.

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