Revengine - Plan Your Escape
Owain Paciuszko 20/11/2009
First 'official' release from Scandinavian rockers Revengine finds them still indulging in pleasingly retro classic rock and metal stylings.
Opening with a blaring siren soon accompanied by big beefy riffs, Given It All it practically stamps a big fat smile to your face, it's so gloriously, unashamedly old-school but played with such conviction and integrity that it doesn't feel like a band trying to get their tune on Guitar Hero. Unfortunately, they do throw in the odd too-cheesy aside, at a couple of points the vocals speak 'Tried to make it last' in a somewhat too earnest fashion that literally throws you out of the song for a while, and elsewhere there are filtered spoken word vocals that only serve to distract from the decent classic rock wrapped around them.
Treason is fast paced, angsty and good fun for it, Antti Jokiranta hollering 'What the fuck do you want me to say?', he also shows off his solo skills come the tracks final third, alongside Juhä Järvela's bass and Jouni Yli-Rantala's drums. Live In A Moment is a mellower balancing differing vocal styles and mood shifts well, though it's softer moments have a stronger resonance than the more traditional rock outbursts. Fear Me also feels some nice slowburn moments of chugging guitars slowly gathering momentum and crescendoing in erratic breakdowns, but the vocals - again - occasionally throw in an off-putting spoken interjection that the EP could do without.
Penultimate track Die For You manages to make rather cheesy lyrics sound good, experimenting with some falsetto vocalisations; meanwhile album closer Turn To Stone has an irregular guitar line and gurgling bass, over a drum-line that swings from splashy to compacted. It's one of the album's strongest tracks and is a good note to go out on, lyrically and vocally the band avoid their regular potholes and the music itself exhibits a level of experimentalism that the other tracks generally only hinted at.
This is a pretty strong EP proper from this Finland trio, that proudly shows off their strengths, but hasn't quite escaped some of the weaknesses that - I personally feel - the rock-metal genre often has (usually 'tacky' vocal gimmicks).