As soon as “Arbiters of the Apocalypse” hit, I was digging the technical death metal fueled by the fast double bass kicks, something that shines nicely throughout the performance. But, then I reached the cleaner passages that reminded me of a mix between Death Angel and even Demon Hunter. Revocation does try to illicit some depressing emotions from time to time in the guitar work, which is a promising choice, and the only thing to really stand out much at all. Sadly, the song just feels like more of a progressive mess that concludes without really hitting the necessary climax to make it even feel like journeying through the performance was at all worth it.
“Theatre of Horror” did show some promise, but again the technicality presented itself more in a mild Opeth manner, though not as fluid. Yes, many of the segments throughout sound good on their own, but when lumped together it often just sounded like bits and pieces from other compositions spliced together just to give a reason for the solid guitar solo about three minutes in to exist, one that sounds like a superb example of the band mentioned in the previous sentence. Was it worth the trip? No, not really, and nor was there anything all that memorable outside that very minute. But, at least this one felt like it had a proper ending though, as rushed as it feels in the last few seconds.
It’s at this point I conditioned myself to embrace Great Is Our Sin as a progressive death metal album, even though it won’t do anything to how I actually enjoy it as a whole, until “Monolithic Ignorance” kicks in. This one manages to stick within the confines of the technical death metal world while incorporating a little grindcore intensity prior to caving to some melodic hooks that weirdly feel like a science fiction piece of Hypocrisy or The Faceless without actually diving into that literary atmosphere. In fact, the band actually dives head first into some pretty straight-forward hardcore attitude shortly after the half-way mark that cuts in and out between various hooks and a very Joe Satriani guitar solo.
“Crumbling Imperium” was the band’s last chance to really sell me on this new album and, well, it didn’t. In fact, it made me wish I had stopped at “Monolithic Ignorance” like I felt compelled to do in the first place. While the timing worked and most of the song fit together into one cohesive concoction, there was just too much that simply felt generic. The decent bass driven main verses with held notes, sudden jump to tight chords and a simple drum pattern you’ve heard accompany a number of progressive records before, all to cut into frenzied riffing with a steady deeper bass presence that relied largely on the drum kicks to stay grounded all kicked the song off in the most uninspiring of manner, which tuned me right out. I sat back hoping for more, but only witnessed the same boring build-ups passing by as if it were just another day at the office for all parties involved. Think “Institutionalized” by Suicidal Tendencies but a bit darker and more abrasive, yet all the while surprisingly dull (and no, this isn’t to say “Institutionalized” is boring by any means, just a comparison). The song even ends with one of the most average sounding breakdowns you could possibly come across as of late, which was just the final straw.
Yes, at was at that point I gave the hell up on the album, even though “Communion” started off with an eccentric enough ferocity to peak my interest (which may explain why this is the main audio stream the label is pushing). I was just incredibly let down by this point, and couldn’t bring myself to venture any further. Instead I’m sitting here struggling to decide what was the most detrimental: The disjointed performances that often didn’t fit together in any way or the bass heavy mastering that still managed to sound flat and uninspiring. Even the guitar solo about halfway through “Communion” sounded off, as if the wrong chords were played and someone said “fuck it, leave it in there.” I really want to like this album, but from what little time I spent with Great Is Our Sin, great is only applicable if it’s a precursor to the words “disappointment”.