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Revocation: Great Is Our Sin

Please note: “First” is an article series based on first impressions of the release being discussed. It not a full fledged review. It is a collection of thoughts upon hearing the material for the first time, and the impact it had on me overall from said experience.
Revocation. I’m not gonna lie, this is one of those bands that I keep forgetting I actually like thanks to mixing them up with other death/thrash bands out there, or more commonly a bungling on band names such as constantly thinking these guys are Allegaeon or Lazarus A.D. for some reason, both being groups that are very hit or miss for me. No, these guys rock, and I don’t give them enough love both on this site, as well as in my life. So, with a little time to kill, I decided to throw their latest effort, Great is Our Sin, right into the media player and give it a quick sample.

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.

Revocation

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”.

Revocation

Digital review material for this article provided by Metal Blade Records and Freeman Promotions.
  • mr noetol

    This is the only review with any mention of bad mastering on the album. I’ll choose to ignore this one as every other review is pretty damn positive.

    • apochweiss

      “First” is a first impressions article, my thoughts upon a quick listen of x amount of songs or time with something. I’ll throw a disclaimer on this series as well I guess…

      Either way, thanks for checking out the article and commenting. I appreciate any and all feedback.

  • Mark Boeijen

    This is the dumbest review Ive ever read. Next time don’t be so half-assed about it and try and appreciate what it is rather than what you want it to be.

    • apochweiss

      Good. Cause its not a review. ;)

  • Jeffrey Dean

    I disagree.