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APOCALYPTIC LOVERS Redemption, Volume 1

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Tuesday, July 5, 2016 @ 6:48 AM


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APOCALYPTIC LOVERS
Redemption, Volume 1

Self-Released - 2016
http://www.apocalypticlovers.com




Formed in Ohio as LOVE AND WAR in 1991 and despite some minor successes, the newly reformed/reborn APOCALYPTIC LOVERS missed out on the brass ring of mega musical success the first time around. Now geographically spread out, the five members of the band (including two bass players), are raring to go with an ambitious release plan of 10 EPs of what is being called "newly updated vintage material".

The first release, Redemption, Volume 1, was mixed by by industry legend Michael Wagener, who worked with many of the biggest names from the 1980's and early '90s metal movement.

Unsurprisingly, the sound of the material hails from that particular period. But the band does live up to the "newly updated vintage material" tag because the music does not actually sound dated.

Instead, the band mostly rocks out. Categorized as melodic hard rock, the CD bursts out of the speakers with "Better Days". The song has a energetically charged tempo and a strong vocal performance from Robert Kane. The solo is pretty noteworthy. The strong guitar work in both the main sections of the songs and in a few of the solos demonstrates just how well guitarist Sean Magee knows his way around a fretboard.

Though just 8 songs long, the disc does vary the sound up a bit. While most of the songs are straight up hard rock with clean riffage and a pulse pounding rhythmic foundation, there's some sweet bluesy hard rock on the aptly titled "The Groove". And when the riffs turn a bit more gritty on tracks like "Killing For A Living" and "These Tears", listeners can't help but be pleased by the talent on display.

On that "Killing" track, the solo is vibrant and the chorus is exceptionally catchy. As for "These Tears", you can classify it as being the closest thing the band has to a power ballad. Once again, there's a stand out solo in the midst of the track. While I liked "Who The Hell Are You?", the song's outro was the thing that really sold it to me.

I really would've liked to have the CD come with liner notes instead of having to research online but that would be more of a minor complaint specific to me I think. The biggest drawback for me would be a couple of songs where the backing vocals just did not mesh well with the rest of what was going on with the music. Once again, I loved "Better Days", but there was one instance where the backing vox were so disjointed it took me out of the song. "Left In The Cold" was another instantly likeable song but the backing vocals are so deeply buried in the mix it comes off a little inept.

But then you have the closing track "Dying Day", where not only do the backing vocals mesh perfectly with the music and Kane's vocals you find yourself energized by the song. It is fast paced with the band really cutting loose with a real anthemic ending to the disc.

I think my favorite track might just be "Change Of Frequency", which was apparently the first single released from Redemption, Volume 1. Now, there was one minor nitpick with the song with the inclusion of a spoken word bit. It was just freaking annoying as the band bookended the song with it. Of course, the mood setting sound of rain and a ringing church bell instantly reminded me of the "Black Sabbath" song. While the song varied tempos, the chorus was more uptempo. My ears might be playing tricks on me but I could swear that I heard a bit of a Zachary Stevens circa his SAVATAGE days in Kane's vocal performance on this track.

I can't really articulate what if any preconceptions I might've had prior to listening to this EP. But after my first exposure to APOCALYPTIC LOVERS, if the other material waiting in the wings is as good as what is on Redemption, Volume 1, I'm definitely on board.

You get superb vocals on top of straight up hard rock with a strong sense of melodic songcraft. I found this EP highly enjoyable and it should please pretty much any fan of the genre. It may have taken far longer than anyone anticipated, but APOCALYPTIC LOVERS have arrived.

4.2 Out Of 5.0


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