The Apocalypse Blues Revue: The Apocalypse Blues Revue Review

The self titled debut of The Apocalypse Blues Revue can be summed up in one word; intense. These twelve tracks include some very traditional forms, including blues shuffles, slow blues, mixed meter, minor blues, acoustic blues and blues rock. Regardless of what form of blues they take on, The Apocalypse Blues Revue plays with a level of intensity rarely heard in today’s traditional blues market.

The Apocalypse Blues Revue consists of former members of the post grunge hard rock band Godsmack. Shannon Larkin (drums) and Tony Rombola (guitar) bring their hard rocking ram in down your throat approach to the project and Brian Carpenter’s bass playing fits nicely in the pocket with Larkin’s powerful yet tasteful approach. Vocalist Ray (Rafer John) Cerbone’s Jim Morrison-ish baritone is very refreshing. He sounds perfectly natural and soulful. Tony Rombola’s guitar work is reminiscent of Frank Marino or Robin Trower with vibrato wide enough to throw a cat through. He sounds very authentic as a blues player and not like a rock player trying to play blues.

The Apocalypse Blues Revue opens with the comfortable shuffle, “Evil Is As Evil Does.” From the first note it’s obvious that these guys know what great blues is supposed to sound like. The slow driving “Junkie Hell” showcases Rombola’s great tone and aforementioned vibrato. “The Devil Plays A Strat” is one of the more rock oriented tracks with it’s mixed meter, Robin Trower inspired riff and Cerbone’s wonderful baritone storytelling. “The Tower” is another great Trower inspired track showcasing Rombola’s deeply soulful playing and Cerbone’s impassioned crooning. There’s really no need to tell you about every track, but you should understand that in many ways this is a very traditional blues record. It’s the band’s performance that makes the record really rock hard. On “I Think Not,” they show that they know how to bring it down a bit when the song calls for it. Everyone one is on their spot. No one is over playing. Every member simply play’s balls first.

The Apocalypse Blues Revue is an unapologetic blues album and a very mature sounding debut. The band has discovered a sound that is unique and familiar all at the same time. This talented group of musicians is off to a very strong start. It will be interesting to see where they take it from here.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Work In Progress
– Crossed Over
– Whiskey In My Coffee
– The Tower
– The Devil Plays A Strat

The Big Hit

– The Devil Plays A Strat

Review by Lou Lombardi

Buy the album: Amazon

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One Response to “The Apocalypse Blues Revue: The Apocalypse Blues Revue Review”

  1. Mike says:

    Wow! This is the band Metallica could have become had they continued to mature in the blues rock tradition of the Load album. Having said that, The Apocalypse Blues Revue are their own band. Long may they last!!

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