Loaded with many big names in the metal world (including former Savatage drummer Steve Wacholz), Reverence is a group from the US that plays a nice blend of traditional heavy metal and power metal. This means that riffs and melody are both in large supply, and it is the band’s ability to combine both that makes them so effective. The title track provides one of the best examples; the crunchy guitar tone makes these already fist-pumping riffs another notch higher, while the soothing vocals of Todd Michael Hall (of Riot fame, among others) provide a contrasting, yet complementary approach. This particular track is a mid-paced effort, which is something the band excels at on this record (the closing songs “Cleansed By Fire” and “Race To Obscene” are similarly crafted). The following song, “Heart of Gold” amps up the speed, and the guitar work becomes a bit more dazzling.
As you may have guessed, “Gods of War” is an album that is well-defined, doesn’t take a lot of risks, but hits the spot perfectly. Simply put, Reverence just writes good songs. A song like “Angel In Black” is a great example; it is driven by its melodic, catchy chorus, yet at the same time features aggressive drumming. The use of backing vocals is fantastic (and almost a bit Primal Fear-like, though that may just be the similar song title putting thoughts of that band in my head), and everything about the song feels very deliberate. “Battle Cry” probably has the best guitar playing on the record, complete with harmonized guitars and speedy solos. You could single out just about any track on the record for special consideration because they’re all really good.
With that said, I wouldn’t mind seeing Reverence exchange a couple of the mid-paced stompers for some more blazing power metal. Even the faster songs on this record don’t quite compare with similar songs of the group’s peers. The band is no doubt very technically competent, and they could benefit from having some tracks driven by double bass. This would also give Hall more opportunities to show the entire range of his voice. Admittedly, he has a very comfortable tone on this record, but it would be cool to see him add some really insane screams. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the music on “Gods of War”, and it’s hard to imagine any fan of old-school heavy metal or power metal being disappointed.
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"Gods of War"
"Angel In Black"
"Cleansed By Fire"
4.2/5 or 84%.
Written by Scott