Review Summary: Consistency reigns.
There are not too many active musicians in the present day who can match the blue-collar work ethic that Massachusetts-based extreme metal outfit Revocation has exhibited throughout their career. They've released a whopping seven projects (six full-length albums and an EP) in the past eight years and have not displayed an ounce of fatigue along the way as they continue to push the limit of what they're capable of as musicians with each new release they put out. Their latest offering Great is Our Sin-their third LP released in the last 35 months-is yet another booming, logic-defying success story for the death/thrash quartet.
The key to Revocation's longevity and consistency is their ability to make subtle changes to their sound without abandoning the unique combination of thrash and technical death metal that's defined them since their inception. Great is Our Sin is no different as it sees the band putting out their most thrash-influenced record since their 2009 breakout album Existence is Futile. Centerpiece tracks including "Theatre of Horror", "Communion" and "Copernican Hersey" grant guitarist/vocalist David Davidson and new drummer Ash Pearson (ex 3-Inches of Blood) the opportunity to run wild on their instruments and bring back the full-on aural assault vibe of their back catalog gems like "Deathonomics" and "Pestilence Reigns". There are a solid amount of departures into other genres throughout the album (the sinister, straight-up death metal of "Only the Spineless Survive, the unexpected, bizarre prog of "Cleaving Giants of Ice", the melo-death of "Monolithic Ignorance"), but Great is Our Sin is ultimately driven by fast, energetic and pissed-off songs that go full throttle at the listener's throat and never let up.
This may be the most straightforward thrash project they've released in ages, but the finest moments of Great is Our Sin end up being the sprawling, multi-genre tracks. "Profanum Vulgus" features balls-to-the-wall aggression and speed broken up by a staggering progressive mid-section while "Crumbling Imperium" regularly shifts between blistering sweep-picking and melodic riffing/soloing before ending on a death metal groove riff so punishing that it makes the finale of their 2013 standout track "Invidious" look like something from the Cats soundtrack. Revocation excels at playing a lot of different metal subgenres and despite their many successful forays into single-genre fare, they're at their absolute best when they're combining a number of styles on the same track.
It really shouldn't be the case given their track record, but the unwavering quality of Revocation's music continues to surprise me. Revocation's consistency is a welcome anomaly at a time where a lot of modern metal bands seem to be losing their killer instinct and flare for creativity faster than ever. Every generation of metal has an unheralded act that never gets the level of attention or praise they deserve and Great is Our Sin further solidifies Revocation's grasp on that unfortunate yet commendable distinction for the 2010's.