Tuesday, June 26, 2012

REVERENCE: "When Darkness Calls"

Rating: RRR
Label: Razae Ice Records 2012
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

"Featuring members of Savatage, Tokyo Blade and Burning Starr" boasts the band's website. Yep, we're talking about a supergroup of sorts. Maybe not an "A-list supergroup" since none of the bands mentioned haven't quite achieved a place on the A-list of metal groups. They all have a cult following though, and maybe with Reverence the combined fanbases will join together and push the band to the next step of the ladder.

To my ears, Reverence has a very American Eighties Metal sound. I don't mean the likes of Dokken or Ratt, I'm talking about bands like Malice, Lizzy Borden, Armored Saint, Savatage... from the rougher end of the era's heavy metal scene, but keeping a safe distance to the thrash/speed genre.

Vocalist Todd Michael Hall has a cool metal voice that has traces of Geoff Tate, Lizzy Borden and Ronnie James Dio. Truly a throat made for metal... The rest of the band are no slouches either, they've got plenty of experience and you can hear that. Bryan Holland and Pete Rossi play some tasty Maiden'ish twin-leads and the rhythm section of Steve "Doc Killdrums" Wacholz and Ned Meloni pound out intricate rhythms.

While the band's songwriting does have a distinct sense of quality and professionalism to it, their songs could have used a serious dose of memorability. Probably the "easiest" songs to get into on this the album are the title track, its' follow-up track "Bleed For Me" and "Revolution Calling" a bit later in the tracklisting. If the songs of the album had been a bit richer when it comes to the melodies, I wouldn't have hesitated to give a better rating. They've got the musical talent, now they only have to make their songs a bit more appealing to the non-diehard Power Metal fans. Maybe their next album will be their "Operation: Mindcrime"...

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