December 7, 2005

CD Review: Revery - Avarice & Absolution

After listening to this album, one thing becomes abundantly clear, Revery rocks! Their sound is not the most original I have heard, it is not the most technically precise I have heard, nor is it the best rock album I have heard. However, they play to their strengths, which is turning up the volume and playing loud rock music that is tight, catchy, and will suck you in.

Revery is not alternative, emo, nu-, -core, or any other sub category that people seem so fond of assigning these days. Despite not fitting into any of those categories, their sound is one that could be welcomed by people across genres. They fit into the larger and looser category of "hard rock". That is all this Virginia Beach band needs.

Avarice & Absolution seethes with a strong undercurrent of energy, and it is addictive. As soon as that first song hits, you will find your head rocking and your foot tapping. You may even start to wonder how they must be live. This recording captures raw rock energy in a well produced package unlike some other recent albums I have listened to. Occasionally it sounds like the recording just captures the notes, handcuffing the artist to a "studio" sound. Revery's sound here doesn't have that restrained feel to it, but I can only imagine it live.

The sound seems to incorporate elements of the sludge filled Seattle sound of bands like Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots, and mixes it with a Southern flavor. The blend is filtered through a rock processor and out comes this collection of songs ready to be turned up to 11.

The album opens with the driving "Look at What You've Done". A wall of guitars backs the vocals which reach through with an immediacy that will grab you and draw you in. That is followed by the equally driving, "Sugar Star". Then comes, what I feel to be, the first single for Revery, "In the Way She". It has a strong groove, a catchy rhythm, and falls in the universal language of a relationship gone south.

They also slow down the pace a couple times to deliver what every good rock band needs, a power ballad. To some, they may not want them, me, I've always enjoyed a good ballad, and these are decent. The first is "3 Weeks", the other "Secondhand Redemption". Both of them balance the acoustic and electric, and avoid getting overly sappy yet can still stir up some emotions.

Like I mentioned earlier, Revery is not breaking any new ground. Lyrically, they tread the same ground as most mainstream style rock acts, relationships gone bad, life on the road, and the like. Musically, there are no real virtuoso type moments. What they do is play tight and energetically, and I like that.

The band is led by vocalist Jason Martinez. He has a strong voice that has a rough edge, yet comes across clear, perfect for this style. Behind him are the twin guitars of John Adkins and Michael Doyle, creating this wall of guitars off which everything else hinges. This band is heavily guitar and rhythm oriented, and these two do a good job of keeping the rock rocking. The low end is provided by Kenny Adcock, who fills out the guitar riffs, but does not really stand out. Last, but not least, is drummer David Doyle. Again nothing spectacular, but a solid drummer backing up the rock.

Bottomline. Solid rock debut from a band that could really catch on with the radio crowd. I hate to keep reiterating, but not the most original. They do play the rock well, and that makes this one worth listening too. It also shows potential for growth in future albums. Revery would probably be good to see live.



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