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Reverence - Gods of War

Reverence
Gods of War
by Julius "Dreadheart" Mikkelä at 19 November 2015, 5:21 AM

Power and glory to you all; the Dread King of Metal is back to judge trueness from poserdom - and what better way to start it off than with some true-hearted Power Metal?!

The band in question is REVERENCE from infamous Detroit, Michigan; a quintet that, with only 6 years and one full-length album behind them, may on paper not seem like much more than yet another upstart Power Metal band riding the genre’s wave of revivalism. But what the paper conceals is the experienced hand that wrote upon it: REVERENCE is essentially a supergroup, consisting of veterans from genre titans like RIOT V, CRIMSON GLORY, TOKYO BLADE, and SAVATAGE. Got your attention now, don’t I? Well strap on your battle armor, and let’s throw ourselves into their second offering, “Gods of War”!

Now, every time I encounter a so-called supergroup, I go in with low expectations. While this may sound contradictory, seeing how I should have higher expectations on bands with experience and prior success, the regretful truth is that most supergroups are underwhelming and often fall far short of their original efforts. Thankfully, it took “Gods of War” exactly 30 seconds to shred my low expectations into a shining promise of glorious, uncompromising Power Metal goodness.

In short, this album has the Power Metal formula down to near-perfection, in many ways reminding me of both CHASTAIN and HAMMERFALL, and it has all the elements at all the right places: Be it a great and engaging vocalist; a guitar lead that knows how to show off without wasting space; inspired and catchy songwriting; some divine synergy between all the band members; a production that screams experience, and just an all-around sense of excellence from beginning to end.

The heavy-lifters of the album are clearly in the beginning, with the album striking a quadruple home run with the title tracks “Gods of War”, “Heart of Gold”, “Until My Dying Breath”, and “Angel In Black”, all providing top-quality Power Metal that should make anyone headbanging, fist-pumping, and singing along in full force. Come “Tear Down The Mountain”, the album starts losing some of its initial steam and settles on simply providing a solidly enjoyable ride until the end, while still providing some reasonably memorable tracks with “Battle Cry” and “Splinter” and never letting a single track fall into the pit of “eh, whatever”.

But as great as “Gods of War” is, it has a major weakness: Its complete lack of innovation and.. uniqueness. Now don’t get me wrong here; I’m not saying that a masterpiece can only be made in an act of innovation, or that one must be the strangest-looking flower in the garden to be noteworthy, but being so dangerously predictable in your excellence can only get you so far in my book.

However to leave my judgement on such a low-esque note would be unworthy of the great record this is, so instead I’ll say this:

If you have any inclination towards Power or JUDAS PRIEST-esque Heavy Metal, - any at soddin’ all - come join the REVERENCE and,
 
- Bow Down to the “Gods of War”! -

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Gods of War
2. Geart of Gold
3. Until My Dying Breath
4. Angel in Black
5. Tear Down the Mountain
6. Blood of Heroes
7. Battle Cry
8. Choices Made
9. Splinter
10. Cleansed By Fire
11. Race to Obscene
Lineup:
Todd Michael Hall – Vocals, Songwriting
Bryan Holland – Guitars, Songwriting
Pete Rossi - Guitars
Steve "Doc Killdrums" Wacholz - Drums
Michael Massie - Bass
Record Label: Razar Ice Records
     


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Edited 20 October 2021
 

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