Nima : American “all-star” band Reverence featuring in its ranks vocalist Todd Michael Hall and bassist Ned
Meloni (both from Jack Starr’s Burning Starr), ex-Tokyo Blade guitarist Bryan Holland, ex-Sanxtion guitarist Pete Rossi and ex-Savatage/ex-Crimson Glory drummer Steve Walcholz, released its excellent debut, ’When Darkness Calls’, and immediately placed themselves high in the ranks of the global heavy metal. The combination of US power metal and European heavy metal left both friend and foe with dropped jaws and Reverence quickly became an important name in the heavy metal underground. Although Hall has been having quite a busy schedule with Riot since 2013, Reverence hasn’t sat still and this month the band finally delivers its second LP, ‘Gods Of War’.
The album – fortunately – picks up where the debut left off and fits perfectly to what the gentlemen revealed on ‘When Darkness Calls’. The album opens firmly with the pounding title track, and immediately demands your full focus. Already from its first tunes the song makes it difficult to sit still and – as if it’s all self-evident – the head goes up and down in approval. As the band continues with the more traditional ‘Heart Of Gold’, followed by the heavier and more modern ‘Until My Dying Breath’ the absolute tone for the album is set, and it is clear that we’re dealing with an even more diverse album than the debut. European heavy/power metal and the US variant go hand in hand, which also goes for the traditional and modern influences. The music is highly versatile, but doesn’t sound chaotic or confusing for even a moment, and manages to keep you focussed from start to finish. Despite the fact that the compositions are complex and contain multiple layers the music is immediately catchy, but also offers more to discover with every listen, making the album stand and not bore even after multiple listens.
The guitar works on this record are absolutely sublime. Both Holland and Rossi deliver the one catchy riff and beautiful solo after another, and constantly ensure highlights. Walchoz and bassist Michael Massie (Overloaded, who has replaced Meloni since last year) are of the same quality and deliver a solid backbone. And of course we cannot forget Hall´s fantastic vocals and his importance in the whole.
I must say that the record has turned out more complex and also a bit more modern-progressive at some points in general, and thereby requires more time in order to win me over completely. And of course my preference for the more traditional work plays a role as well. Don’t get me wrong though, because the essence is traditional heavy metal and with songs like ‘Heart Of Gold’, ‘Angel In Black’, ‘Blood Of Heroes’, ‘Battle Cry’, ‘Race To Obscene’ and the title track the album contains a few absolute highlights. The powerful, contemporary production completes the picture and all together make ‘Gods Of War’ a strong record that will apply to a large heavy metal audience.