Reverence: Foreverence (Razar Ice)
US-based heavy/power metal band Reverence closed out 2017 with an EP titled Foreverence. It’s the first output from the band since both the departure of vocalist Todd Michael Hall and the untimely death of guitarist Pete Rossi. Foreverence features five new songs (sort of, two are quick instrumentals), a cover song and a pair of bonus live tracks, and it gives us our first dose of the new Reverence lineup, which now includes vocalist Scott Oliva (Oceans of Night) and guitarist Paul Kleff, who previously toured with Metal Church.
I have to say, it’s hard to hear a Reverence release without Hall on vocals, since he was a big part of what made their two prior releases so unforgettable. Still, Oliva brings plenty of power of his own to these songs, and is a good counterbalance to the heavy riffs, fiery solos and thundering rhythms (and yes, that’s former Savatage drummer Steve Wacholz hammering away). Of the new songs on Foreverence, the metal anthem “New Order” stands out the most, in the best fist-pumping, headbanging tradition, though “Fire Lord” has serious punch as well. The cover of the Savatage classic “Sleep” is handled well, especially considering how hard it is to pull off a really good Savatage cover. The live songs are solid enough, but don’t really move the needle one way or the other.
Foreverence isn’t completely satisfying, but then again few EPs truly are. It does whet the appetite for a new Reverence full-length, and is strong enough to reassure fans who might have been nervous about how the band would sound without Hall and Rossi.