When controversy arose in the late '80s as a result of the lyrics to Slayer's "Angel of Death, the late great Jeff Hanneman was frustrated. Hanneman told radio station KNAC in 2007, "[There is] nothing I put in the lyrics that says necessarily he was a bad man, because to me — well, isn't that obvious? I shouldn't have to tell you that." Naturally, the questions dogged the band for a while, until it wasn't worth answering the critics.
But in a new interview with New Noise Magazine, Revocation guitarist Dave Davidson weighed on brutal and shocking lyrics when asked by the interviewer about their value to Davidson, who praised darkness as a means of catharsis.
“I feel like metal is this wonderful kind of alchemy where you take these sort of brutal images or you’re singing about the horrors of the world," Davidson said. "But in some way it can kind of have this cathartic release for people. When I read brutal lyrics from any band, I don’t think it’s an endorsement of that; if anything it’s sort of confronting the horror to be like look how terrible it is, but making music out of it and hopefully having some kind of release.
“It’s funny,” Davidson continued, “being raised Catholic… my mom wasn’t particularly religious. I think she just kind of wanted me to go to a good school or whatever, and Catholic schools were private. But I was a believer when I was a kid, obviously because you’re sort of surrounded by it, and we went to church because it was the community thing to do. But yeah, reading sort of the Tenets of the Satanic Temple, those feel much more kind of real and humanitarian than the Ten Commandments let’s say, just in terms of a modern day how to sort of live your life. I think if you had just kind of erased all religion and just did a mind wipe on humanity and presented them with two stone tablets, and one was the Ten Commandments and one was the Tenets of the [The Satanic Temple] but you didn’t tell which one was which, I think probably maybe more people might choose the Seven Tenets than the Ten Commandments. Certainly, it feels more humanitarian.”
Davidson then goes on to cite America The Farewell Tour by Chris Hedges as the direct inspiration for the song "Nhilistic Violence," saying the song deals with modern day bleakness in America turning directly into violence. Well, alrighty, folks—there's your homework for this weekend. Get reading!
Revocation just released their new record Netherheaven and just released their new music video for "Nihilistic Violence," directed by David Brodsky. It'll take your head clean off and light your decapitated body on fire. Take that, Ten Commandments! You can also check out our recent video with Davidson here where he walks you through a handful of his favorite riffs over the years.