Revocation – “Monolithic Ignorance” (Stereogum Premiere)
Revocation are essentially survivors of a mass extinction. When they first appeared in 2006 as an offshoot of an earlier band called Cryptic Warning, the style they play — sleek, technical death/thrash metal with a gleaming modern presentation — was at the apex of its popularity. Necrophagist and Arsis were among metal’s most buzzed-about bands, which is bizarre to think about just a decade later. Polished, occasionally virtuosic metalcore acts like God Forbid and Shadows Fall also enjoyed their commercial peaks right around this time. The future looked like an unbroken stretch of harmonized twin-guitar leads and quantized kick drums.
It was not to last, of course. By the end of the last decade, death metal had experienced a backlash against all the processed speed and melody, and had largely retreated into more primitive territory. The mid-aughts vision of metalcore all but vanished as well, replaced predominantly by deathcore and djent. But some acts that got their footholds during those years have thrived in the period since, thanks to a combination of hard work in the studio and even harder touring. the Black Dahlia Murder are probably the clearest example, but Revocation certainly fit the bill too. Great Is Our Sin is their sixth album in an eight-year span, during which they’ve also pursued an exhausting package-tour schedule over much of the globe. And surprisingly, it’s their punchiest and most aggressive album since their early days — fewer middle tempos, less emphasis on extended soloing, and a whole lot more low-fret pummeling.
It could not come at a better time. After so many years spent meandering around in the endless poop caverns enshrined by the old-school death metal aesthetic, a sizable proportion of the fanbase seems to have regained interest in cleanly productions, lock-tight performances, and extended melody — witness the growing popularity of bands like Horrendous and even Fallujah. Great Is Our Sin delivers these goods in spades. “Monolithic Ignorance,” which we’re premiering today, barrels through a thrashy verse-chorus exchange in its first half before settling into an extended instrumental bridge that blasts straight upwards into the sad-boy prog stratosphere. Guitarist Dan Gargiulo penned this tune, which makes sense — that great bridge segment is reminiscent of his other band Artificial Brain. The relentless album/road cycle that Revocation maintain tends to enervate extreme metal bands, but these guys sound fiercer than ever. Listen.
Great Is Our Sin will be out 7/22 via Metal Blade.