Moreno Valley, California’s Revilution returns with a new single entitled “Phantoms”. Dan Seitz’s five piece outfit began in 2011 as an one man project with Seitz handling each aspect of the musical presentation working alongside creative partner Marie Burgess. His lyrical content has a more intellectual bent than many of his contemporaries, but a single listen to “Phantoms” will convince anyone that he pays equal attention to the music. It engages listeners with sinewy physicality that never leans too heavily on cliché. The band has been active since 2011 and soon evolved from being an one man creative powerhouse into the unit we hear today. This band isn’t on some major label and confine their touring, for now, to a relatively small region, but songs the caliber of “Phantoms” boasts the kind of impassioned rock muscle capable of exploding this band onto a much larger stage.

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The band’s twin lead guitar attack of Seitz and Scott Flint share enough stylistic similarities it is difficult to tell where one is leading the way while the other supports. Revilution, nevertheless, lays down a brisk yet monstrous riff for the song that carries listeners atop a wave of bulldozer energy. The solos, unlike many other bands of their ilk, are never mindless exercises in pseudo-virtuosity but, instead, fall in lockstep with the song’s mood. The rhythm section of bassist Mikey Chavez and drummer Joe Hernandez are in attack mode throughout the track, as well, and provide a rock solid foundation for the six string fireworks.

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The production doesn’t sound anything like you might expect from an independent band. “Phantoms” has a bracing sound from the outset, in keeping with its spare no prisoners attitude, and the band captures each instrument with warmth and clarity. The three and a half minute running time is ideally suited for the track – Revilution has a get in, kick ass, and get out mentality that dispenses with self-indulgent side shows and there’s not a single dip in the song’s construction from first second to last. Seitz and company are obviously well acquainted with what makes songs of this ilk memorable for listeners and they capitalize on the song’s potential.

Seitz’s vocal is rough-hewn, but he avoids lapsing in the comical cookie monster growl affecting many metal performers today. Revilution are a band who likely resist labels, but they do owe a clear debt to a classic riff-oriented metal sound without ever sounding paint by numbers. His lyrics are every bit as focused and no nonsense as anything you hear from the musical arrangement.

He writes with a keen ear for tailoring the words to the music far too few hard rock and metal songwriters possess today and there’s intelligence burning off each line. The rhythmic drive of his vocals, as well, helps accentuate the cut’s overall power. All of these aforementioned observations come together in “Phantoms” to make it one of the most invigorating guitar driven tracks you will hear in 2020 and serve notice that, nearly ten years on, Revilution is still picking up steam and not quite ready to hit their full stride.

Sebastian Cole