July 17, 2018 The Apocalypse Blues Revue – The Shape Of Blues To Come (Album Review)
Branching out into the smokey realm of Graveyard Blues, hard rocking members of Godsmack, Drummer Shannon Larkin and Guitarist Tony Rombola, along with Bassist Brian Carpenter, and Vocalist Ray “Rafer John” Cerbone, are back in the saddle as The Apocalypse Blues Revue via their sophomore LP, The Shape Of Blues To Come, set for release Friday, July 20, 2018, thanks to Provogue/Mascot Label Group.
The Apocalypse Blues Review debuted on August 26, 2016 on the acclaimed self-titled debut album, The Apocalypse Blues Revue, an album that peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Charts. An unexpected treat, this new project posed a revealing look into another side of two members from one of the biggest Hard Rock bands on the planet, Godsmack. A founding member of Godsmack, and an acclaimed guitarist,Tony Rombola first began teaching himself to play guitar at eleven years of age. A child of Rock, Rombola was inspired early on by iconic albums like 1970’s Led Zeppelin III and Rush’s 2112 from 1976.
Born to play, Rombola has given Hard Rock some of the most kicking riffs in the history of Rock radio. Shannon Larkin was born in Chicago, Illinois to parents who were huge music fans, exposing him to only the best in music from The Beatles to Jimi Hendrix. A veteran to the music scene, Larkin has been performing in Godsmack since the band’s 2003 chart-topping studio album Faceless and has performed with several other top acts such as Ugly Kid Joe and Candlebox.
In accidentally forming The Apocalypse Blues Revue, Larkin made a stark discovery, meeting Vocalist Ray “Rafer John” Cerbone, an acoustic Bluesman, at a biker bar. From there, Larkin and Cerbone got to chatting about music and riding motorcycles, and the new kinship eventually led to Cerbone being asked to sing on a Blues track Larkin and Rombola were jamming. A rising force, The Apocalypse Blues Revue is a cool, smooth Blues machine, whose music is a sonically tight voyage showcasing elements of Stevie Ray Vaughn with a style sounding heavy influenced by The Doors (“Riders On The Storm”). Perhaps a second coming, Cerbone sounds so much like Jim Morrison it will send chills up the spine.
Diving right in, The Shape Of Blues To Come is kicked-off by the haunting vocals of “Open Spaces,” visualizing a dark room, the lights are out, and Rombola is blaring a monster dose of the Blues heading right into “We Are One.” Next up, “Hell To Pay” is the perfect soundtrack for taking a late night stroll through a graveyard while “Have You Heard” is about a new kind of Blues (“It Ain’t Your Daddy’s Blues”).
Then there is “To Hell With You” which takes on a classic meaning with a modern phrasing before the hitchhiker’s tale, “Nobody Rides For Free,” which is followed by an effort to be “Sincere.” In an eight minute long epic, “What A Way To Go” sees Cerbone effortlessly give a fearless performance while Rombola explodes in Rock ecstasy playing slide guitar. Lastly, “Noumenal Blues” is a track whose meaning is incapable of being known as the closer of a bold new release.
A heavy creation of multi-talented musicians, The Apocalypse Blues Revue are growing stronger and the proof is in The Shape Of Blues To Come. Avid fans of the Blues will be pleased with these nine well-oiled tracks which heavily balance between classic and modern Blues with a twist. A sound led by the crunchy guitar of Rombola and the raspy vocals of Cerbone, The Shape Of Blues To Come is one of those albums easy for a listener to love. Even Godsmack fans who normally may not be into the Blues will want to give The Shape Of Blues To Come a shot. Check it out, CrypticRock gives The Shape Of Blues To Come 4.5 out of 5 stars.