REVERENCE – Gods Of War [Japanese Edition] (2015)
True metal is still alive & kickin’ in America; REVERENCE is releasing their sophomore effort “Gods Of War“, with its Japanese Edition including a bonus track.
The band features some American metal veterans with vocalist Todd Michael Hall (Riot V, Jack Starr), guitarist Bryan Holland (Tokyo Blade, Arrest), drummer Steve ‘Doc Killdrums’ Wacholz (Savatage, Crimson Glory), guitarist Pete Rossi (Overland), and new bass player Michael Massie.
From all these experienced guys you can expect a solid product, and “Gods Of War” deliver the goods.
Recent years have found the European metal scene striding forward, as band after band emerge to vie for the crown of power metal masters. And yet, there’s an argument that the few US outfits who have really made this style their own, actually do it better and with much more guile.
Hence when Reverence ambushed us with their debut in 2012, there really was reason to rejoice. A US act arriving to breathe new life into a sound that while steeped in the same heritage as those Euro bands, adds that little something that is unmistakably American and unmistakably classy.
From the off it’s crystal clear that Reverence aren’t here to mess about, the album’s opening title cut the sort of introduction many a more renowned act would give their riffing arm for. However from there what really hits home is that there’s no fat around the edges of “Gods Of War”, every track a prime ass-kicker that leaves a succulent full flavor for many an hour afterwards.
“Until My Dying Breath” punches hard, staccato guitar barking and biting ferociously, while the confident march of “Angel In Black” is a serious smash of power and drama all brought together through the peerless vocals of Todd Michael Hall – a singer who unsurprisingly has found himself much in demand since the Reverence debut made such an impact.
The guitar pair and writing duo of Bryan Holland and Pete Rossi match Hall every step of the way, the likes of “Heart Of Gold” possessing a scything twin guitar barrage and buzz-saw riff that a certain Maidens of Iron seem to shy away from these days, while the vocal arrangement in the chorus is simply jaw dropping.
Bassist Michael Massie didn’t feature on the band’s debut, joining not long after but here he proves his worth, meshing seamlessly with the machine gun drumming from Steve ‘Doc Killdrums’ Wacholz, who is faultless throughout. And it’s this confident power-house rhythm section which really allows the songs to reach the level of assertive maturity they do.
“Choices Made” is a clever change of pace and focus with a pulse very close to groove hard rock and catchy choruses, “Blood Of Heroes” on the other hand shows an ability to alter the pace not only from track to track, but within the same song; something many bands could take a leaf from.
While “Splinter” slows things down, the frenetic pace intentionally checked to add shade to the blinding light found elsewhere. However having the ability to close out the album with the full force double hit of “Cleansed By Fire” and “Race To Obscene” proves the quality of this band once and for all.
Japanese bonus track is called “Kick The Dog”, and title says all pretty much, a heavy yet melodic rocker with a certain hard rock groove.
“Gods Of War” is an album that delivers from start to finish, inflicting immense punches of melodic metal majesty through every intricate twist and turn and leaving you genuinely amazed by the standard of what you’ve just heard.
I’m not sure if Reverence are ‘Gods Of War’, but they’re sure as hell masters of traditional, classic metal.
MARQUEE JAPAN ~ 【CD / MICP-11247】
01 – Gods Of War
02 – Heart Of Gold
03 – Until My Dying Breath
04 – Angel In Black
05 – Tear Down The Mountain
06 – Blood Of Heroes
07 – Battle Cry
08 – Choices Made
09 – Splinter
10 – Cleansed By Fire
11 – Race To Obscene
12 – Kick The Dog (Japanese Bonus Track)
Todd Michael Hall (Riot V, Jack Starr’s Burning Starr) – Vocals
Bryan Holland (Tokyo Blade, Arrest) – Guitars
Pete Rossi (Overland, Sanxtion) – Guitars
Michael Massie (Overloaded, Chocking Susan) – Bass
Steve “Doc” Wacholz (Savatage, Crimson Glory) – Drums
BUY IT !