Reverence - When Darkness Calls (Own Label)

If you were wondering what happened to Dr. Killdrums, then the suspense is over...
Release Date: 
28 May 2012 (All day)

Those of you interested in such matters will remember that this organ was very taken with the album Land of the Dead by Jack Starr’s Burning Starr not so very long ago. A majestic piece of trad US power metal, it had our editor Scott Adams in a state of knickers-in-a-twist hysteria, not least because of the splendid vocal performance put in by the incendiary throat of JSBS singer Todd Michael Hall. Well, Mr Hall is back for our audial delectation, this time fronting another US power metal outfit, who go by the name of Reverence.

Todd notwithstanding, Reverence are of major interest to power metal aficionados because the band gives a home to the not inconsiderable percussionistic talents of none other than former Savatage skinbeater Steve ‘Dr Killdrums' Wacholz. This is of course exceptionally exciting news indeed, but, having established that there are now not one but two MaF favourites in the band we have to ask the burning question – are they any good?

The answer of course is an unequivocal yes they are. Opening track When Darkness Calls is everything you want from this kind of music; Slashing guitars (courtesy of Bryan Holland and Pete Rossi), rumbling bass (Frank Kruckel gets the plaudits here) and a soaring vocal performance from Hall that tops the whole thing off memorably. The bands ups the ante considerably on next track Bleed for Me, which is a scintillating mix of Thundersteel-era Riot and prime time Leatherwolf that’ll have you singing along within seconds. Happy days are here again….

Bleed for Me has a grade-A radio friendly chorus, and if there’s one complaint about When Darkness Calls as an album as a whole it’s that the band don’t quite manage to scale these melodic heights again for the rest of the record. Of course, that’s a minor quibble really; Every track has some marvellous musicianship to recommend it, and every song is high quality riff mayhem guaranteed. Take Phantom Road, for instance, which features a truly splendid solo on the outro, bringing the hard driving madness of thr song to a suitably epic (if sadly faded out) end – When Darkness Calls is full of little highlights like that that mean you really do have to give the album your full attention so as not to miss out on the plethora of audio treats waiting to be unwrapped.

Basically, if you like any of the bands mentioned thus far there’s no way you won’t love this record (you’ll especially love it if you liked last year’s Vicious Rumors album as much as I did…) so do yourself, and the band, a favour by investing in it at your earliest convenience!