Reverence – Foreverence EP Review
I still remember the first time I had ever heard of Reverence; it was some time in 2013 shortly after their debut album “When Darkness Calls” was released. The band, at that time featured Todd Michael Hall who I was aware of from his time in Riot and the legendary Steve “Doc” Wacholz formerly of Savatage (one of my all time favorite bands, in case you were not aware) on drums. I was immediately turned on by the overall sound of the band; the powerful, soaring vocals, the rock solid, pile-driving rhythm section and the intricately crafted guitar work from Bryan Holland and Pete Rossi made Reverence one of my favorite “new” bands of the time, and I have been following them closely ever since.
Fast forward to more recent times; Reverence has two full length studio albums under their belts and have just released a solid new EP. This all comes after the departure of Todd Michael Hall in 2016 and the untimely passing of Pete Rossi in March of 2017. The band proves, with the help of guitarist Paul Kleff, vocalist Scott Oliva and bassist Russell Pzutto that they have not lost a single ounce of energy despite setbacks and tragedies with their new EP entitled “Foreverence”, which was released on December 22nd through Razar Ice Records.
The EP starts off with a short guitar instrumental which bears the EP’s title. Up next, we are treated to one of the absolute best and most aggressive riffs to be released this year on the track “Fire Lord”. This track packs an absolute wallop in a neat little, five minute package. Musically, I tend to draw comparisons between “Fire Lord” and Savatage’s “The Dungeons Are Calling”, especially in the overall aggression and attack of the riffs. Scott Oliva’s vocals may not be as clean as his predecessor, but his gruffer approach to singing suits these tracks well, and add a new dimension to the band. This track is an absolute monster and only serves to heighten my anticipation to a whole new level for a full length release.
“Phoenix Rising” is a totally ripping track which features an soaring harmonized solo section. Overall, this track is sleek, mean and lean. This is honestly the type of heavy metal that they need to be playing on the radio (Q106 and WRIF, if you are reading this, take notes), rather than the “bro metal” garbage that I hear whenever I turn my tuner on anymore.
“New Order” is the final new track on the EP, and in my opinion is the strongest of the bunch. No frills, no BS; just straightforward, driving heavy f’ing metal. I found myself on more than a few occasions shouting along with the “HAIL! To the new order!!!” in the chorus while blasting it in my car in the parking lot at work.
“Final Flight” is a short solo piece by the late Pete Rossi. The track is a fitting tribute for such a great guitarist, as it showcases his virtuosic chops. Immediately following is a cover of “Sleep” by Savatage, which was the final track on 1993’s Edge of Thorns record (also the final album featuring Criss Oliva on guitar). Upon first listen, I could swear somebody was cutting onions in my vicinity…weird, eh? Reverence does a faithful, albeit abridged version of Sleep which wraps up the studio section of the EP beautifully.
The live versions of “When Darkness Calls” and “The Price You Pay” add a whole new dimension to their studio counterparts, and nicely show how good of a band Reverence is in a live setting.
Overall, my only complaint is that it is only an EP; therefore it is far too short and leaves me insatiably craving more material from this Reverence. Unfortunately, I missed it when they played at the Diesel Concert Lounge a while back with another band which I have covered in length, Detroit’s Heavy Metal Horror Show, Halloween. I am fully excited and ready for a third full length Reverence album, and if this EP is anything to gauge what it will sound like, it will be far and away a winner in my book. 10/10
Go and get your copy of “Foreverence” right now!!! I assure you that you will not be disappointed!