Great is Our Sin

Positioned at the forefront of the modern metal scene, Revocation’s endless creative streak and strong work ethic shows no signs of faltering on the band’s sixth LP, Great Is Our Sin. I must admit to a touch of bias bordering on fanboyism, as from my perspective the band has never disappointed across a decade long career. Revocation’s prolific strike rate is getting frankly ridiculous and Great Is Our Sin keeps their tight, technically theatrical death-thrash formula cranking into overdrive. And despite a relative lack of big surprises, it’s a more than worthy follow-up to the sinister thrashfest of excellent predecessor, Deathless. The formidable guitar duo of mastermind Dave Davidson and impressive accomplice Dan Gargiulo (Artificial Brain) is back in top notch form, with adrenaline packed riffs, brain scrambling leads and playful harmonies solidly backed by the tight rhythmic chops of bassist Brett Bamberger and new drummer Ash Pearson.

Sprightly opener “Arbiters of the Apocalypse” kicks in with typical Revocation exuberance and tight, technical chops welded into a blisteringly dynamic thrash structure with whiffs of the classic Bay Area scene, albeit with a distinctive Revocation twist. From here on the band keep the good times rolling, with wildly inventive, thrashy and dynamic metal the order of the day. Frequently showcasing their catchy and dynamic songwriting, Revocation flip fluently between complex high octane thrashers such as “Communion” and “Monolithic Ignorance,” to mutating tech juggernaut “Crumbling Imperium” and rugged groove laced stomp of “Theatre of Horror.” Davidson deploys his cleaner vocal style more than ever before, counterbalancing his signature growl and thankfully the rough, unrefined quality of his cleans are not overused and don’t intrude negatively on the surrounding aspects of Revocation’s sound.

Certain songs on Great Is Our Sin stand out more than others, though it’s consistently solid stuff, highlighted by a handful of excellent songs. Importantly there’s never a dull moment and while the first half of the album arguably boasts the stronger, more memorable material, the second half doesn’t drag or lose momentum.  The last couple of songs are particularly strong, with the taut, aggressive death onslaught of “Only the Spineless Survive” brutally satisfying. Meanwhile, well titled closer “Cleaving Giants of Ice” is an adventurous melodic death jam, driven by emotive guitar melodies, lashings of groove and a sombre clean chorus.

Although typically varied in execution, musically Revocation isn’t doing anything particularly groundbreaking within their signature style, as the album feels less of a progression than the more adventurous Deathless. Yet like previous albums it boasts its own unique tone and certainly doesn’t feel stale, despite generally falling short of the band’s best work. However, Revocation’s reliability can be counted on once more. For example the songwriting is consistently solid and memorable, while Davidson’s solos show no signs of stagnating, delivering another livewire performance of supreme guitar wizardry. His expressive, brainy soloing elevates each song a couple of notches, such as the wonderfully soulful shredding which adds a touch of elegance to the blasty off-kilter lurch of “Copernican Heresy.”

Perhaps the most difficult thing with Revocation is ranking their always high quality albums. Great Is Our Sin probably sits somewhere in the middle of the pack and firmly consolidates Revocation as one of metal’s most exciting and consistent modern acts. If you’ve never liked Revocation before there’s nothing here to sway your opinion, for the rest of us Great Is Our Sin is another fine effort from this slick and ever reliable unit.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
August 4th, 2016


  1. Commented by: guilliame

    Wait…it is possible to love Metal but not Revocation!? That does not compute. Great review. This band is amazing.

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