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When Darkness Calls
January 2013
Released: 2012, Razar Ice
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

As an older fan I am always delighted when these super-groups crop up made of old Metal dudes. To me it demonstrates that the power of true Metal rages in their veins and even though the bands they once gained recognition for are probably long gone, these guys still make Metal for the love of Metal. It shows a purity of purpose that comes from the knowledge the band will probably never been a commercial venture that tours extensively and moves a lot of units. Nothing to loose, everything to gain and the wisdom of experience means bands like Reverence can really make some killer music.

Who are Reverence? A whole bunch of American Metal dudes who used to be in bands like Savatage, Tokyo Blade, Crimson Glory, Burning Starr, that’s who! That is a pretty impressive resume for a new band! Their debut release, WHEN DARKNESS CALLS has a home on the young and upcoming label Razar Ice. The production is good and cover art is pretty awesome too.

Pure American Power Metal is the order of the day for this magnificent 11-song album that runs about 50 minutes. The lyrics are good Metal fare very ably delivered by Todd Michael Hall who has some fantastic range and power. Check out the scream at about the 1:38 mark of ‘Revolution Rising’. Spine-chilling stuff. He has a great voice for this type of Metal. I like his semi-spoken delivery of the stand-out cut ‘Bleed For Me’ with a killer gang chorus. Musically, the guitar duo of Bryan Holland and Pete Rossi have no shortage of great Metal riffs. The solos are also well executed. The pace is very quick but doesn’t sacrifice heaviness or melody. They hit a sweet spot in terms of songwriting sort of like Malice used to. The band slows down into ballad territory with a very somber piece called ‘When the Leaves Have Fallen’ featuring a subdued vocal and some acoustic guitar. Reverence finish the album a very strong note with a barnburner called ‘Vengeance Is Mine’, leaving me wanting more.

Most of the time these all-star projects don’t last too long, (for example, Manic Eden, Stream, Killing Machine, Destiny’s End, Blackthorne, Symfonia, DawnRider, etc) but for a brief bright moment they make some truly spectacular albums. I’m not suggesting that Reverence will break-up or does not have the potential to make it, but I also realize the market is limited, the audience for this style smaller, and most people don’t buy CD’s anymore. I do believe that Reverence has what it takes and that WHEN DARKNESS CALLS is a world-class debut and I hope they make many more great albums and you can help make that happen by buying this album!
Track Listing

1. When Darkness Calls
2. Bleed for Me
3. Phantom Road
4. Devil in Disguise
5. Too Late
6. Gatekeeper
7. The Price You Pay
8. Monster
9. Revolution Rising
10. After the Leaves Have Fallen
11. Vengeance is Mine


Todd Michael Hall Vocals
Bryan Holland Guitars
Pete Rossi Guitars
Steve Wacholz Drums

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