There’s really something to be said for the insane level of consistency that Revocation has been able to keep going. While they still feel like a relatively fresh band in the grand scheme of death and thrash metal alike, they’re also about to release their sixth LP. In a relatively small frame of time, these Boston riffmeisters have been able to regularly smoke most of their competition while also churning out records at a much quicker rate. Whether it’s with their relentless barrages of both technical and memorable guitar parts, frequent vocal hooks or their awe-inspiring lead work, Revocation have been gradually honing in on delivering both leaner and meaner albums with each subsequent release. Now with Great Is Our Sin, they’ve quite possibly delivered their finest work yet.
With a somewhat-modest ten track runtime (and the addition of a hellaciously-fun Slayer cover), Revocation have concocted an absolute blitzkrieg of metal that’s decidedly more early 90s death metal than it is late 80s thrash this time around. Whether it’s the swampy goodness of Morbid Angel in tracks like “Profanum Vulgaris” and “Only the Spineless Survive,” the ode to Cynic’s Focus-era clean sound in “Crumbling Imperium,” or just the overall Atheist and Gorguts influences throughout, Great Is Our Sin does a great job of modernizing the classic Morrisound vibe. It’s not to say that they haven’t been in the band’s repertoire for years now, they just feel like much more of an emphasis this time around. Drummer Ash Pearson certainly knows when to bring in a nice d-beat here and there, but it’s mostly rooted in death metal’s much more technical and relentless attitude. It’ll only take the listener about ten seconds into “Theatre of Horror” to realize that Pearson is clearly a welcome addition to the band’s otherwise fairly consistent lineup.
In a year that’s already been pretty fantastic for technical death metal, what really separates Great Is Our Sin from the majority of likeminded albums is its immediacy. While damn near every track on here could warp the minds of guitarists the world over, absolutely no track on the album gets lost in a rabbit hole of overindulgence and needlessly-complicated song structures. Frontman Dave Davidson’s cleaner vocal work has also been gradually improving throughout the years too, and the choruses in tracks like the delightfully pissed-off “Arbiters of the Apocalypse” and the triumphant closer “Cleaving Giants of Ice” are some of the catchiest yet. For a record that’s otherwise hellbent on delivering money-riff after money-riff (and succeeding), the occasional vocal hooks are welcome additions to the listening experience. More than a handful of songs on here aren’t afraid to explore verse-chorus-verse-chorus territory, but they don’t feel any less adventurous for doing so.
While Deathless really felt like the jolt of energy Revocation needed at the time, Great Is Our Sin has probably surpassed it and become on of the most enjoyable Revocation albums from front to back. It’s an album that doesn’t overstay its welcome, and essentially every song is unconditionally recommended for fans of extreme music at large. Whether it’s Marty Friedman’s incredible guest solo on “The Exaltation,” the whammy-bar flourishes in “Monolithic Ignorance,” or the fact that “Crumblong Imperium” boasts the best breakdown of 2016, there’s no reason to not fall in love with this record. This is certainly not an album to pass up on, as Revocation are quickly becoming one of the greatest modern metal bands in America today.