Released: 2017, Heaven and Hell Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
North Carolina's cult indie label Heaven and Hell Records recently reissued "Too Late To Pray" (Originally released in 1986 on Ann Boleyn's (Hellion) New Renaissance Records) the debut album from Cerebus for the first time on CD digitally remastered with the band's follow up EP "Banshee On The Loose" as an added bonus.
Cerebus had quite a melodic and even progressive heavy metal approach on "Too Late To Pray" that musically recalls early Fates Warning or Queensryche. Vocalist Scott Board had a pretty unique vocal approach however; one born of AOR influence with a very subtle tip of the hat to the late, great Robin Gibb (Bee Gees) hear the chorus for third track "Distant Eyes" or "Rock The House Down" for further reference. Heaven and Hell Records have offered up a deluxe 16 panel booklet with a lengthy history of the band written and recollected by vocalist Scott Board, lyrics, album credits and tons of archival photos of the band.
Sadly the band's original guitarist Chris Pennell passed away in April of 2010 at the age of 46 (only the good die young) and would never get a chance to appreciate what a fine job Heaven and Hell did with this reissue of his music. On a brighter note, Cerebus recently reunited earlier in the year performing at the Legions Of Metal Fest in Chicago, Illinois with a lineup that featured original members Scott Board, Erig Burgess and longtime skinsman Steve Arnold alongside guitarist Reid Rogers (Salvacion, Knightmare) handling six-string duties. Hopefully we'll hear some new music from the resurrected group soon!
This reissue is a fantastic introduction to Cerebus as I was previously unfamiliar with the band prior to checking out this reissue. Longtime fans will be pleased with the attention to detail and quality that is a trademark of Heaven and Hell Records reissues. Collectors and eighties metal fans alike should both find reason enough to rejoice with this release.