Revocation fans have a lot to be excited about come 22 July 2016 with their release of Great is Our Sin. I have been a big fan since first hearing their debut release of Existence is Futile back in 2009 and have not looked back as they have progressed through Empire of the Obscene (2010), Chaos of Forms (2011), Revocation (2013) and Deathless (2014). While the new album is unmistakably Revocation, the growth as musicians and songwriters has pushed the potential of Technical Death Metal well beyond its current boundary.
After extensively and successfully touring with bands such as Crowbar and Cannibal Corpse in support of 2014’s Deathless, singer/songwriter/guitarist David Davidson, guitarist/backup vocalist Dan Gargiulo, bass player/backup vocalist Brett Bamberger and Revocation’s newest member, Ash Pearson (replacing Phil Dubouis–Coyne) rounding things out on drums began work on what would become Great is Our Sin. With band members scattered throughout North America, song-writing was done in spurts as members became available to fly into their Boston practice space. Staying focused and making the most of what time logistics allowed in addition to the masterful work of producer Zeuss (Hatebreed, Bleeding Through and Revocation’s Deathless and Teratogenesis EP), Great is Our Sin is the most flowing and congruent Revocation release yet. Lyrically themed on the 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 juxtaposes man’s apparent inability to learn from and apply knowledge from historic mistakes on modern societal norms. Clarifying the point, Davidson states: “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 Some themes come from historical references that are hundreds of years old, yet sadly these themes are still very relevant today due to mankind’s refusal to learn from the lessons history has taught us,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.”. This theme ranges from the political corruption of buying and selling lawmakers in “Only the Spineless Survive” to enviro-politically fueled subject of climate change in “Cleaving the Giants of Ice” and “Alter of Sacrifice”.
Correlating with such an expansive and heady theme, Revocation has continued to push their musical prowess beyond anything they have done in the past. Technically, Great is Our Sin is off the charts with complex time changes, brutal guitar riffs, extremely melodic harmonies and fretboard scorching solos with a bit more of a Progressive Metal influence and pull back that would have been blasted through on past efforts. Davidson elaborates: “We’ve always had a bit of a prog element to our sound, I think we’ve all just gotten better as musicians so we feel more comfortable pushing the envelope even more than before. Likewise, I try to write melodies and solos that aesthetically fit the mood of the part, and for me both those sections needed something really epic sounding, especially on the ‘Arbiters’ chorus. I was initially planning on screaming for that part, but the riff felt very anthemic to me, so I came up with a melody that was more in line with the triumphant nature of it.” Adding to this progression of sound is the epic solo in “The Exaltation” provided by one of my favorite guitarists, Marty Friedman which blows the roof off this already spectacular song. In the press release, Davidson states that “Marty has always been a huge influence on me and is someone I really respect. His solo on ‘The Exaltation‘ has all the elements that I love in his playing, especially the element of surprise.” In addition to their already stellar repertoire is the drumming of Ash Pearson. His multifaceted ability to smoothly change time and style adds a depth and feel that is both interesting and brutal. Davidson says that “…Ash is an incredible player and he has a really diverse style which we’ve utilized a lot on the album. He can really go off behind the kit, playing some very intense technical stuff, as well as bringing in some more diverse elements drawn from his influences outside the metal realm.” That said, there is simply nothing not to like on Great is Our Sin. Definitely the Revocation sound that we have all come to know and love, but better. Much better! Please buy this record when it is released in support of the band and the Metal Blade label. Trust me. You will not have one ounce of regret…
Song list for Great is Our Sin:
“Arbiters of the Apocalypse”
“Theatre of Horror”
“Only the Spineless Survive”
“Cleaving Giants of Ice”
“Altar of Sacrifice”
More band, album and tour information about Revocation can be found at: