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I gotta believe that REVENANT from New Jersey should undoubtedly be a relatively familiar name to the most of the Thrash / Death Metal fans around the globe. In the late 80s this foursome become known amongst of the fans of a more extreme side of Thrash Metal by releasing their 1st demo "Beyond The Winds Of Sorrow" (in 1987) and especially the band's 2nd demo titled "Asphyxiated Time" which was released a year later, as far as I can still remember, was one of the most popular and traded and widely circulated demos in the worldwide tape trading scene. That particular demo also was that demo from REVENANT that actually took me into them. During the period of 1989-1993, three more REVENANT releases were released; a 7-inch, 2-song EP on French Thrash Records saw the light of day in 1989 and the band's very eagerly-awaited debut full-length album called "Prophecies Of Dying World" was finally unleashed on German Nuclear Blast Records, providing them a cool opportunity to tour with Dutch Deathsters GOREFEST in Europe in the fall of 1991 which ended up being a huge success for REVENANT, bringing the band's name to the vast masses of even more people back then. Also, a video for 'The Unearthly' was filmed in Hamburg in the winter of 1991 which was premiered on MTV's "Headbanger's Ball" in the spring next year, helping to get REVENANT's name everywhere even more (the video was re-edited later and released on "Death Is Just The Beginning" video compilation in the same year). After that REVENANT parted ways with Nuclear Blast due to many conflicts that were caused between them and the label for quite a few different reasons. However, the guys didn't rest on their laurels for long, but started recordings for their second full-length album as soon as in 1992 already in several different sessions by using various local studios for that purpose. In the spring of 1993, Ed and Joe from a New York-based Rage Records offered REVENANT an opportunity for a release of the second 7-inch EP which the guys agreed to do and that was the last thing I heard from them for many years. However, they kept things going on and it was in January 1995 when REVENANT entered a studio for the last time to record a new EP that was supposed to be a rough draft of the band's forth-coming 2nd album that would have been entitled "A New Paganism", featuring at least 9 songs. The band had decided to release 4 of those songs under a title "Overman", but unfortunately the band split up in 1995 before it was even mixed. 6 years later in October 2001, the mixing for that EP finally took place at Erik Rutan's Dimensional Sound Studios in Tampa, Florida and was released in 2002 as a limited edition of 300 copies only. As for this latest official 4-track offering of REVENANT musically, it actually sounds very different compared to everything they did on their previous releases. If they sounded like a hybrid of both Thrash - and Death Metal band before with having somewhat an aggressive touch to their songs with quite many fast, up-tempo parts in them, on the "Overman" EP you can basically drop two things away from their music: Firstly the 'Death' - element and secondly fast-paced parts as they are no more a part of this release. The first observation that you are able to hear is the fact the band had slowed down quite drastically the average tempo of their songs, so don't expect to hear any songs written into vein of for example 'Unearthly' or 'Distant Eyes' like they had on their excellent "Prophecies Of A Dying World" record or otherwise you may get slightly disappointed. The first three songs on this EP vary from some slower tempos to mid-tempos, still managing to catch my ears quite easily and making me enjoy them as they come out from the loudspeakers. Also, I paid quite much attention to Hank's (or Henry's) vocals that aren't the same any longer. They lack a bit of this "evil & wicked" vibe that he still had on the 2-song EP they did for Rage Records back in the day. Funnily yet even quite oddly his vocal parts on the "Overman" EP sound somehow lazy, kinda like a bit "out of place" and may I even say, "untrained" or something, I don't know. Anyways, don't read me wrong, like I already mentioned earlier, I still happen to like quite much what they have done in the 1st three songs on this EP even if you really can not look back and compare them to any of their previous stuff that much after all. Those of you who miss more familiar REVENANT - sounds the way they sounded like once, a bit of consolation for that is in sight in the very last song on the EP, 'Exalted Being', which overall is a quite fast tempo song almost from start to finish, having a few mid-paced elements here and there and sounding very much like a song that I would have hoped to hear more from them, y'know, with a determined strive for a more aggressive and relentless musical expression in the name of the band's good'n'old days or whatever, ha! As far as the EP's availability goes, you should try to ask your own copy from Dani from Revenge Productions as he still may have a very few copies available for this and it's obvious that the fastest and luckiest ones will be served first, so you need hurry up if you are going to get this "soon-collector's-item" for a part of your own Metal collection... ;) Dani: and be sure to check REVENANT website out as well at this location:

Luxi Lahtinen

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