Revel in Abandon by Walken

Release date: April 14, 2016
Label: Self-Released

Do  you like riffs? Do you like the more thrashy riffs? Or do you like the more doomy riffs? Well, if you happen to be a fan of both you’re in luck as Walken delivers on both. And they deliver very well as their latest full-length release Revel in Abandon proves.

Walken come from San Francisco and to my surprise they have been around since the year 1999, but I only first heard about them when their vocalist/bassist Shane Bergman emailed me a few weeks ago asking if I’d be interested in reviewing Revel in Abandon. Shane also plays in a great band called Hazzard’s Cure, who I covered a few years back when they released The Ugly EP. Besides Shane, the other band members are involved in various other bands, such as the fantastic Giant Squid and Grayceon. Walken doesn’t sound anywhere near the other bands they’re all involved in, making it the ideal outlet to set loose some other influences.

Things quickly kick off with ‘Taking Teeth’, which is pure thrash metal riffing, drumming and singing. And it’s great! It makes you fist pump and wanting more. Halfway through the track there’s a lot of melody being played on the guitars as well, reminiscent of those old Bay Area thrash metal days. The second track ‘Around the Sun’ turns things around though as this is the first track on the album where the band shows its doomier side. The tempo and the riffs are slower, but the guitars still have that classic thrash metal tone. What immediately strikes me when the vocals kick in is the similarity with Neurosis, musically and especially vocally. This is not a bad thing by the way. Towards the end of this track the thrashy double bass drums make an appearance, adding some thrash aggressiveness.

This is basically the red line through this album, alternating the tracks from pure thrash to pure doom and everything in between. ‘Dead Weight’ brings that classic up tempo thrash rhythm about one third into the track, which is followed by ‘Rainbow Leaper’, a nice, but slightly too long instrumental interlude, reminding me a bit of the classic Metallica records from the good ol’ days.

The majority of the tracks on Revel in Abandon are all stand out bangers, but the one track that really stands out for me from the rest is ‘Pills’, which also happens to be the album’s longest track, clocking in at nearly 12 minutes. This is one hell of a doom journey and a really good addition to the overall slightly thrashier sounding album.

Revel in Abandon was digitally released last April and it is now also available on limited cassette and vinyl pressings. Don’t hesitate on this one, get your doomy thrash on! Walken also just released a great new split with Hazzard’s Cure, which you can check out here.

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