Boston Technical Death Metallers REVOCATION are back at it again with their sixth studio album, Great Is Our Sin, (out now, Metal Blade Records) and this marks the first conceptual piece in their career. The band have pushed six abrasive albums since 2008’s Empire of the Obscene, and that could leave fans questioning, how do they continue to make one killer disc after another? Despite the constant high-quality releases, the band has also gone through several lineup changes, and this record features new drummer Ash Pearson. The answer is David Davidson: he is an ambitious, focused, and driven musician. It would have been easier for them to replicate older works with similar aggressive structures and styles, however, Davidson continues to expand creative boundaries and this time around, Great Is Our Sin features quite a few Progressive parts.
Davidson constructed a lyrical concept where the title of the album comes from a Charles Darwin quote, “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Davidson continued to explain this theme as, “The concept revolves around the folly of man throughout the ages. Some themes come from historical references that are hundreds of years old, yet sadly these themes are still very relevant today due to mankind’s refusal to learn from the lessons history has taught us, time and time again.”
Opening up with a bang that includes powerful riffs and intensified drumming “Arbiters of the Apocalypse” is my personal favorite track. It features a few blends between merciless riffs, melodic shifts and guitar solos. “Theatre of Horror” opens up with a Horror-like introduction with indescribable muttered sounds as it escalates into another callous tune. There is a unique guitar riff during the instrumental break; these are what keeps the songs engaging, and all are constructed differently leaving no room for repetition.
“Monolithic Ignorance” melodically opens on a slower note and simultaneously maintains a heavy structure. As the song moves into its brutal formation, it dives into a Progressive style which would keep you wondering what direction it will move towards next. Diversity continues with “Crumbling Imperium” where right from the get-go it begins with a completely different introduction than the previous tracks with a memorable guitar riff. It features the strongest guitar solo, and the movements continue to switch between Death to Progressive Metal.
“Communion” has a few Progressive elements, but it returns to a Metal frenzy explosion. The fast pedaling on the drums would make anyone throw themselves into a mosh pit. Next, is the instrumental track “The Exaltation” that features a guitar solo by the incomparable Marty Friedman. This high production quality adds an annihilating rush to anyone’s eardrums. Chaotic excitement continues with “Profanum Vulgus” and “Copernican Heresy,” and I can picture both of these songs live at a show. Reaching the album you will hear another surprise and that has everything to do with “Only The Spineless Survive.” There is a Thrash-style guitar riff towards the beginning as it melodically slows down and viciously picks up again with a brutal meltdown until the end.
“Cleaving Giants of Ice” starts off slow where at first you would wonder if this is an instrumental piece but nearly forty-five seconds in, the vocals hit, and it moves into a disturbing chorus. “Altar of Sacrifice” closes the album just how it started, on a strong note. Great is Our Sin is probably one of the better Metal albums of 2016. There is an incredibly large amount of layers, variations, and diversities that keep it engaging. I enjoy the new Progressive additions and think it is genius how they manage to keep their structured style at the same time with it. Please buy this album, you will thank me.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Arbiters of the Apocalypse”, “Crumbling Imperium”, “The Exaltation”, “Only The Spineless Survive”