After 16 years, it would be an extreme understatement to say, “Revocation knows their metal,” because with all the technicality and precision that goes into each one of their albums year after year, Revocation doesn’t just simply pay tribute to the greats, but has studied their craft so finely, they have created a sound that brings the essence of metal’s golden thrash and death age to today. Their sixth studio release Great Is Our Sin is another golden addition to the band’s library as each song delivers relentless thrashing of some of the most purest metal in 2016.
Great Is Our Sin pulls off two strong accomplishments, the first being the technical strength in instrumentation. The strongest part of the instrumentals is lead guitarist/lead vocalist (and only remaining founding member) David Davidson. Riff after riff, solos abound, and death metal chugging is what fills the realms of this dark whirlwind. Davidson understands metal and its sub-genres to their finer notes, and in every song he transitions from thrash to death heavy riffs with soaring high notes to brutal lows. The solos in particular are insane. They are work that legendary guitarist Dimebag Darrell (of the late Pantera) would be proud of.
The band’s other guitarist Dan Gargiulo compensates well for rhythm on his end, but one of the best surprises on this album is drummer Ash Pearson, who absolutely annihilates all the tracks with some of the most brutal use of blast beats and speed. Pearson covers in all the fills for the right times in each track, and never overplays everything, making him one of the heaviest and most talented drummers today. The instrumentals on this album are easily some of the best (if not the best) of 2016. The strongest proof of this is in the track “The Exaltation” (a pure instrumental track); it is every part chaotic and calculated as it hits hard, simmers slightly, then speeds off. For technical death metal, there is such a balance and mix of sounds, such as what can be found in “Copernican Heresy”; starting in grind and death heavy, then dropping into a pretty jazzy vibe, leading back into more grind and death.
The second great accomplishment that this album achieves is that it is pure straight-up metal fun. Davidson provides the most iconic death growls (with bits of clean vocals that work well when sprinkled throughout). These growls and yells mix great with the elements of death metal instrumentals, and add to the heaviness in the thrash. Lyrically it’s a fun album, playing on the typical metal lyrics of thrash and death bands such as Suffocation and Slayer. This bit from “Monolithic Ignorance” is exactly the sort of dark, brutal, fantasy-like atmosphere one is to expect: “A doomsday declaration, the signs we cannot ignore / The oceans start to boil, the dead wash up on our shores / Rivers flow with toxins, sickening all in their wake / Swallowing the poison, savor its virulent taste.”
Revocation has created easily one of 2016’s best metal albums out of Great Is Our Sin; with outstanding tracks such as “Theatre of Horror” and “Only the Spineless Survive”, this is an album from the very beginning to hook metal heads. Revocation is a collection of some extremely talented musicians (Davidson standing out as one of the best guitarists today, along with drummer Ash Pearson). The band has become true masters of their craft through constant dedication, understanding and studying their teachers, and constantly improving and spinning the elements of metal to create heavy, fast, and brutal music album after album.