Revocation – “Great Is Our Sin” (Metal Blade Records)
With a Darwinian theme that dwells on today’s politically charged times and a founder guitarist / vocalist in David Davidson schooled at the Berklee College of Music, specializing in polyrhythm for jazz, Revocation is an aptly titled band, bringing intellect, fearsome technical prowess and musical integrity to bear on many of today’s issues from political corruption to climate change. Now joining Davidson is 3 Inches Of Blood drummer Ash Pearson, and with his presence this album literally takes off through the fearsome propulsion of his technically brilliant drums and truly scary speed. Scenting the blood, Davidson himself has stepped up in delivering some of his most virtuosic and shredding solos ever – all the more so when you consider that one of his heroes, Marty Friedman, delivers his own guest solo of blinding proportions on ‘The Exaltation’. Definitely intense and not for the faint hearted, Revocation’s material is equally to be awed for its stop-start precision and even more so, the diverse use of prog on ‘Communion’ and the sheer catchiness of ‘Crumbling Imperium’, which certainly raised my eyebrows, not forgetting the slower, Morbid Angel brutality of ‘Only The Spineless Survive‘ and melo Swe-death groove of ‘Cleaving Giants of Ice‘. Clearly in a decade Davidson has come a long way in the maturity of his composition and despite line up changes, the tightness of the band each time has never been without question. While his voice remains hoarse and guttural, an area perhaps where he is still finding his feet even on this 6th release, there’s no denying its aptness on the band’s tribute to Jeff Hanneman in ‘Altar of Sacrifice’, which is as commendably ferocious but ups the ante in being virtuosic, the sound of which has captured once again by producer Zeuss (Hatebreed, Bleeding Through). An all star release that takes genius right up to the point of madness, but sensibly doesn’t cross it.