Imagine Dr John, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and Jim Morrison playing as the four horsemen come riding through town (we don't mean Metallica – although that would make a great jam session). Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, that's the feel Apocalypse Blues Revue have created for their latest album. The band interpolate their rock roots with Godsmack’s Shannon Larkin (Drums) and Tony Rombola (Guitar) injecting the music with the aggression and power that's carried over from their day job. Hell To Pay and Nobody Rides For Free demonstrate their edgy blues style and their skill as versatile musicians when too many have merely got stuck in a rock rut.
Many of the tracks have a spiritual overtone, and this has some congruence to the far-out psychedelia that drips in and out of the album on tracks like Open Spaces and the ghostly Noumenal Blues. But the references to hell and the general darker side of life are pure heavy metal. Vocalist Ray “Rafer John” Cerbone was discovered by Larkin in a biker bar and that smokey, sweaty, testosterone vibe is here on every track. Cerbone turns the end of the world into a celebration on rockabilly blues track Have You Heard?! that wouldn't sound out of place in a Tarantino film. Cerbone has the ability of Jim Morrison to retain the deep melody and mood of a track with a rumbling vocal that's half spoken, half sung. His sultry tones during To Hell With You is bluesy biker romance at it's best; so much so that eternal damnation, brimstone and hellfire are a seductive alternative to the hearts and flowers of traditional greeting card romance.
The blues has shape-shifted over the years and while adding rock elements may not be wholly original. The Apocalypse Blues Revue have created their own brand of doomsday blues. When the end of days finally arrives it doesn't matter if the saints come marching in, or you dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight: when the world is going to shit, the band plays on.
Groupie Rating 4/5