Metal in 2016 is in an interesting place. Never a genre to shy from complexities and forward-thinking this year, so far, has seen a radical step forward in invention within the genre. ARCHITECTS, GOJIRA, OCEANS OF SLUMBER and THE KING IS BLIND have all released diverse, forward-thinking music that, nonetheless, keeps the aggression intrinsic to metal at their core. Although having certainly been pursuing this course for most of their career on Great is Our Sin, REVOCATION feel a more part of this evolution than at any other point in their career.
Musically Great is Our Sin is a diverse melting pot of thrash, death metal and, at times, progressive moments that extend beyond the song structures. Although there are certainly nods to the past, such as on the thrashing sprint of opener Arbiters of the Apocalypse, Great is Our Sin has been produced and composed with defiantly modern methods. Unlike other bands of their ilk REVOCATION never sound like a pastiche, or throwback act despite a nod to the past in the closing cover of Altar of Sacrifice by SLAYER and a guest performance by MEGADETH’s iconic former guitarist, Marty Friedman on The Exaltation.
With some truly exceptional guitar work on display, Great is Our Sin has a lot of depth to it. There is a real depth to the song-writing and often, a malevolence and anger that only unwinds itself on successive listens. Crumbling Imperium, especially, displays this nuance as it veers from progressive textures into much more direct death metal riffing. Balance between aggressive metal riffing to more introspective progressive moments is also consistently achieved and it never feels like REVOCATION lean too heavily on either element of their sound on this album.
However, it is not all positivity. Despite a low running time of 45 minutes, there are no real highlights on Great is Our Sin and, surprisingly considering its length, the album really begins to drag around the 20 minute mark. With none of the peaks and troughs that great albums contain Great is Our Sin is just too linear as a body of work. While certainly impressive compositionally and creatively it is not an album that stands out as a classic – while certainly a modern metal record that sits well with where metal is in 2016 it is unlikely that Great is Our Sin will be remembered much alongside the simply astonishing quality of music being released this year.
Great Is Our Sin is set for release on July 22nd via Metal Blade Records.
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