I remember it as a moment of “love at first listen” when I heard Revocation for the first time. It was for their song “No Funeral”, and I was totally taken aback by their fusion of all the great parts of thrash and death metal with a great technical presence. I was afraid it was a one-off, thinking the rest of their material couldn’t possibly be as good as that song, but that doubt quickly turned into surprise and enjoyment while immersing myself in all of their material.
Now six albums into their career with their newest slab “Great Is Our Sin” being launched, they have honed their sound to a level that is near impossible for most bands to do today. I mean that in the sense that they are continually inventive and are consistent as hell. They haven’t released a bad album, and they still have lots of fresh ideas to bludgeon our eardrums to. And with this new collection of tracks, the band is continuing in that tradition.
“Arbiters Of The Apocalypse”, the opening track and the bands first single off the new album immediately hits you with the group’s trademark front-loaded death-thrash, grabbing your attention immediately with it’s hair-raising ferocity. “Crumbling Imperium” works wonderfully with precise syncopation and great bass theatrics from Brett Bamberger. The excellent guitar solo near the end of the song by frontman Dave Davidson leads into a melodic backbone that breaks back into forceful power chords near the end of this lively jaunt.
Perhaps my favourite track on the album is “Communion”, which comes across as the most technical and progressive track on the album. Newest member and former 3 Inches of Blood drummer Ash Pearson has joined the group for this album, and his influence and prowess shines through, particularly on this track with his breakneck and over-the-top drumming style. One of the big surprises to come directly after this monstrous composition is “The Exaltation”, an instrumental featuring Marty Friedman (ex Megadeth/Cacophony). If you’re a fan of his legendary guitar theatrics then you’re no doubt in for a treat here. I can only imagine how giddy Davidson was at the inclusion of the guitar god on a Revocation song.
If you’re a fan of the band, you’ll love “Great Is Our Sin”. With all the influences and expertise that the band throws into their collective talent pool, there’s a lot to get excited about. The songwriting has been honed and matured to a ridiculously perfect degree with the release of each album, constantly one-upping their own creativity and giving their own brand of metal a loud voice in the community. The technical death thrash with progressive tendencies is still coming forth in heaps, and with each album the sound gets more refined and executed to metallic and bombastic perfection. Dave Davidson is the sole remaining original member, and his dedication to keeping the sound intact and vibrant is a testament to his overall ability as a songwriter.
There really isn’t a bad song on the whole album. The boys really put their all into every track, throwing everything they have into the songwriting process and letting each song stand on it’s own merits without repeating patterns throughout the whole release. This is a trend they have kept up throughout their career, and I’m glad it’s still a major component of the band’s dynamic ability to constantly grow and evolve.
I also love how the band continue to wear their influences on their sleeves with nods to old-school thrash and death metal, yet adding that incredibly tight and dominant technical edge that worked for bands like Martyr, Pestilence and Atheist. When they evoke all of this goodness and add their own spin on it, you have their current sound in a nutshell.
At this point, the band can’t really do any wrong. With a ridiculously consistent discography, it’s hard to find any fault with their output. Let’s be honest, if you know the band or are a fan, you know what you’re going to get when you delve into a new offering of theirs for the first time. But having said that, it doesn’t take away from the goosebumps or adrenaline that seeps into your very being when consuming their own brand of metal. And I have no doubt that this trend will continue to permeate their sound for years to come.
01. Arbiters Of The Apocalypse
02. Theatre Of Horror
03. Monolithic Ignorance
04. Crumbling Imperium
06. The Exaltation
07. Profanum Vulgus
08. Copernican Heresy
09. Only The Spineless Survive
10. Cleaving Giants Of Ice
Playing time: 45:08
Release date: 22 July, 2016
Label: Metal Blade
Website: Official Revocation Website