Reverence – “Vengeance Is…Live” (ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records)
Goddamn, this is simply steamin’!!!! Already boasting a super group level line up in vocalist Scott Oliva (ex-Wind Wraith, Innerstrength), guitarists Bryan Holland (ex-Tokyo Blade) and Paul Kleff (ex-Metal Church live, FireWolfe), bassist Russ Pzutto (Twisted Sister live, Dee Snider) and drummer Steve ‘Doc Killdrums’ Wacholz (ex-Savatage, Crimson Glory), Reverence is pure heavy metal fury with top notch class seared all over it!! With 3 full albums already under their belts along with their latest EP, “Vengeance Is…Live” is 15 tracks showing this killer group at their best, along with covers of Iron Maiden’s ’Wasted Years’ and Savatage’s ‘Power Of The Night’, such is the confidence given the unbelievable talent of this amazing band. Formed in 2010, Reverence, as their name describes, brings a sonic cocktail of classic era Savatage, Queensryche and Judas Priest all into one awesome package! From Oliva’s stratospheric soul and siren screaming highly reminiscent of a youthful Halford, the twin guitars of Holland and Kleff pile on the heavy chugging riffola but equally dish out a blinding array of lethal hooks, catchy breaks and orgasmic headbanging solos that really gives the material its class to rise above the rest. Along with a powering rhythm, “Vengeance Is…Live” is modern metal at its finest, making this a contender for live album of the year. From the brooding ‘New Order’, the crowd needs no encouragement whatsoever to chant ‘…Hail! To the new order!!..’ as Oliva weaves his soul and screams expertly to not just add to the excitement but keep the momentum of those twin guitars – that is, until they start firing off solos one after the other! Then there’s the pounding ‘Angel In Black’ with the kill drums of Doc Wacholz hammering down heavy brother, yet so expertly contrasted by the unbelievably heart touching chorus graced once again by those possessed twin guitars with newboy Kleff showing he was the right choice as the replacement for the late Pete Rossi (and represented on the album by guest Tony Rossi). Showing the huge, untapped potential of this band in the latest song of ‘Fire Lord’ with its chugging ‘n’ squeaking red raw guitars along with Wacholz’s pistoning double bass drums, prepare for yet another searing chorus ‘…out from the hell, by the tone of the bell…’ before the solos slam into you one after the other. Heaven. Quite how these guys haven’t been signed to a major label yet still remains a mystery, not that it matters an iota given the powering pedigree on show here!