Nima : This American “all-star” band featured singer Todd Michael Hall and bass player Ned Meloni (both from Jack Starr’s Burning Starr), ex-Tokyo Blade guitarist Bryan Holland, ex-Sanxtion guitarist Pete Rossi and ex-Savatage/ex-Crimson Glory drummer Steve ‘Doc Killdrums’ Wacholz in its ranks released its excellent debut ’When Darkness Calls’ in 2012, followed by the equally as solid ’Gods Of War’ in 2015. Meloni already left after the first record and was replaced by Russell Pzutto (Dee Snider). Hall then left the band in 2016 to focus mainly on Riot V. He was replaced by the equally excellent vocalist Scott Oliva (Wind Wraith a.o.), who debuted on the strong EP, ‘Foreverence’ (2017).
The current line-up has just released its first, as the title suggests, live album. ‘Vengeance Is … Live’ is a collection of live versions thirteen original compositions and two covers. Since each song is presented with fade-in and fade-outs, I suspect that the recordings come from different shows. That is something I’ve never really been a fan of, because it damages the live-feel for me. I prefer to listen to a complete show from beginning to end, or that it’s at least put together in such a way that it sounds like one complete show. Anyway, that is of course something personal. I don’t know if there has been any messing around with the recordings, but since the live-feel is present and the whole doesn’t sound too perfect or too smooth, I don’t think that that has been the case, which is something positive. The music itself obviously speaks for itself. The powerful heavy/power metal of Reverence sounds just as strong as the studio recordings, is well performed and sounds even more intense and authentic thanks to that live-feel. There is also little to complain about the choice of songs. In addition to the original compositions, we get good versions of Iron Maiden’s ‘Wasted Years’ and Savatage’s ‘Power Of The Night’.
These recordings definitely show the strength of the current line-up, and all doubts that some might still have had after Hall’s departure are immediately eliminated. You might say that it is too early for a band that has released only two long players to come up with a live-record, but this does give a good idea of what the current line-up is capable of, and lets – as said – no more room for doubts. And I’d rather have a live-record than a bunch of re-recordings, no? All in all a great release. Come on already with the next album.