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Reverence: Gods Of War

Recent years have found the Euro-power 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 When Darkness Calls 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.

Three years later and with a lot to live up to, the band with links to Riot V, Jack Starr's Burning Starr, Tokyo Blade, Arrest, Savatage, Crimson Glory, Overland, Sanxtion and Inner Recipe return with Gods Of War. 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 cut that leaves a succulent full flavour 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. However 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, "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.

Gods Of War is an album that delivers from start to finish, inflicting immense punches of power 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 metal!

Track Listing
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

Added: October 20th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Reverence online
Hits: 2080
Language: english

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