I was lucky enough to catch this bill last month at the new Emo’s East, quickly becoming one of my favorite venues in Austin. Great sound, ample room to walk around even during the busiest of shows, and enough bars open that you rarely have to wait long for a drink.

Canadian death metallers Threat Signal opened up the night.  When their self titled album was released in October of 2011, it struck me as solid but largely forgettable. Their live show mirrored this initial feeling, failing to really grab me. You could do a lot worse than Threat Signal, but they’ll have to break out of their generic sound to really turn the corner as a band.As I was checking out the merch table for Revocation, the band I was there to see, I was surprised to see an old Boston friend and Ramming Speed vocalist Pete Gallagher behind their table (and later running their lighting cues). Ramming Speed is one of the fastest rising metal bands out of the northeast, and once the Revocation tour is wrapped up, they’ll be in the studio working on some new material. This is awesome news for anyone who’s been dying to hear more from these guys since the split 12” they did with A.N.S. last year.

People seemed to either really get Revocation or they didn’t. There was the girl in front of me, texting with her friend (presumably) elsewhere in the crowd, responding to their text of “Just watch this guitarist, he’s amazing” with “I don’t care, I still don’t think they’re good.” Maybe I shouldn’t be reading other people’s text messages, but maybe she should have heeded her friend and watched David Davidson. Dude can absolutely shred, and Revocation is a must-see band. There were a couple times watching Davidson’s fingers flying through solos that my jaw dropped a few feet, and I looked around me to see if I was the only one. Nope. Mouths agape aplenty, people smiling in awe, and waves of heads banging.

I didn’t give Eluveitie a chance when I first heard of them, I will admit. When their newest album, “Helvetios” came in a couple weeks ago, I had the same feeling I usually do with folk metal bands: “Let’s give it a listen and see if I can find one song on here I like.” Turns out, there are quite a few songs on the album I like, and I like them a whole lot. Complete with bagpipes, tin whistle, and even a hurdy gurdy, Eluveitie took the stage and transformed me into a full-blown fan. The eight members that comprise the band, including charismatic vocalist Chrigel Glanzmann, create a huge sound and stage presence, and are immensely entertaining. At this point, I’m starting to buy into the school of thought that metal should always have bagpipes.

Wildly popular Children of Bodom closed out the night strongly. While never a favorite of mine, I had to admire frontman Alexi Laiho’s musicianship, and can understand why their fans are as fiercely loyal as they are. They didn’t manage to turn me into a fan like Eluveitie, but Children of Bodom know how to end an evening of metal properly…as loud as possible.

– Submitted by James Whelan, Music Design