A couple months ago the Sarg forgot about neon t-shirts, scene haircuts, and emo crunk long enough to give a stirring tribute to New Jersey Death Metal legends Ripping Corpse. Today, I'd like to focus your attention on another equally underappreciated Garden State Death Metal band--Revenant. Revenant was formed back in 1986 in beautiful Bergenfield, New Jersey. They released three cassette demos and a 7" single throughout the late 80s (I've never heard any of them, but they're probably awesome. If you have mp3s of them, you should send them to me) and actually played their first show with Metal Inquisition favorites Mucky Pup! Just Like their Jersey bros in Ripping Corpse, Revenant released their only full length album in 1991 and they've never received the praise and respect they deserve.
Prophecies of a Dying World--is one of the best death metal albums ever released, period! None of that overproduced, super technical, hyperfast modern death metal bullshit. Revenant is 100% old school death metal. Thick, thrashy riffs, jackhammer drumming, and nasty as fuck vocals. The production is perfect--heavy, but still clear enough to make out every cymbal hit. Think early Death, but heavier and more epic. The songs tend to be on the longer side for death metal with the shortest song coming in at just under 5 minutes and the longest one approaching the 8 minute mark. This would spell certain doom for most death metal bands, but Revenant never runs out of steam or ideas. They just continue to bring it with riff after awesome riff amounting to almost an hour long pummeling. If you're a fan of Ripping Corpse, old Immolation, and the like you'll lose your shit when you hear this album. I promise.
Unfortunately like Ripping Corpse, cover art was not Revenant's strong suit. Though it's not nearly as bad as the cover of Dreaming With the Dead, it's still pretty lame. I understand that Revenant was trying to convey an image of the titular dying world, but a photograph of a barren landscape with orange clouds and a pile of branches in the foreground just doesn't do this album justice. If you're going to go with a landscape you might as well use a Georgia O'Keeffe.
Shortly after the release of Prophecies of a Dying World, Revenant parted ways with Nuclear Blast Records. They went on to release another 7" single as well as another demo, and in 1995 they completed their final recording--the Overman EP, which wasn't released until 2002. So as shitty bands like Cannibal Corpse and At the Gates rose to prominence in the death metal scene Revenant faded into obscurity. There's no justice in this word, just Metal Inquisition.