The chief criticism many Killing Joke
fans level at Revelations
is that it is underproduced. When compared with later albums such as Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions
does seem to lack some sonic kick, but only for listeners not digging deep enough into the dusty labyrinth herein. Criticism of the production ignores the reality that the album is a joyous, original world unto itself. Sounding as if it was recorded in some mad, dub chamber, Revelations
reveals many artsy, staccato pleasures. "Dregs," "Land of Milk and Honey," and "The Pandys Are Coming" blend stream-of-consciousness lyrics with blaring, distorted guitars and punchy drumming. Jaz Coleman
has never sounded more confused and happy. This translates to the listener in the form of dark, fun soundscapes.
The album is not about the accessible, synth-heavy charms of Firedances
, a later album, or the political murkiness of What's THIS For...!
, an earlier release. Revelations
is similar, in a sense, to Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
and Outside the Gate
, in that all three albums suggest less aggressive, more experimental facets of the band. Unlike the grasps at emotion on Brighter
trudges a noisy and unfocused (to the point of brilliance) middle ground between the band's electronic and guitar leanings. "Dregs," in particular, is indicative of the state of the band at the time; Coleman
simply blurts out whatever comes to his mind as the rest of the band creates militant, swarming background squalls. It's the sound of industrial music being created before your very ears. Nine Inch Nails
would later mine the sound for everything it was worth. Repeat listens of Revelations
reveal it to be a most enjoyable departure for one of the greatest, most underappreciated post-punk bands of the '80s. Revelations
sees Killing Joke
mangling and discarding the rules of modern rock music with demented, inspired genius.