With their self-titled debut album released in 2016, The Apocalypse Blues Revue released their second album ‘The Shape Of Blues To Come’. The band is an amalgamation of some members of Godsmack (Shannon Larkin on drums and Tony Rombola on guitar) coupled with Ray Cerbone on vocals and Brian Carpenter on Bass. Together they create original blues tunes that while modern, still have that classic blues vibe about them, and this album is nothing short of a bluesy masterpiece.
Open Spaces is a strong opener for the album, and really sets the vibe with its moody verses and explosive and funky choruses. It has a swing to it that you can’t help but sway to. The song begins with that classic blues tone reminiscent of something Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughan would do. Ray Cerbone’s gritty vocals complete the tune, and Tony Rombola’s emotional guitar work brings it together for one feeling-packed song. With a deep, spooky intro, We Are One is a slower tune, emphasized by the drums and the slow bass lines. Slide guitar runs rampant and really suits the mood. Overall the song gives you a very chill vibe and you find yourself relaxed and singing along with the ‘Woooaaaah’s. A nice little groovy timing change towards the end of the song gives it a little bit of kick and funk that ends the song on a bit of a high.
Hell To Pay features a really cool intro riff, with a catchy verse riff and delicious bluesy frills that fill the choruses and the tasty solos. The song as a whole is upbeat, and the lyrics and vocals pull at your emotions.
Mixing things up a bit is Have You Heard?! With a very gospel-esque talking intro the song breaks out into a sweet swinging drum and bass line. The groove is almost like a mix between something Elvis-like and Stevie Ray Vaughan again. While it has that sort of familiarity about it still has uniqueness and is quite different in dynamic and energy from the previous songs. To Hell With You is another swinger with a cool slow rhythm. The vocals really shine in this song – very gritty and deep. The verses are fairly tame but the choruses really break out, making a nicely balanced song full of all the right ingredients.
With a completely different rhythm altogether, Nobody Rides For Free is an energetic no-nonsense blues tune, the main rhythm reminiscent of ZZ-Top. The intro does not prepare you for the energy to come, but continues to build into the beefy heart of the song. The guitar solo is full of funk as well and coupled with the growly vocals is a song you could easily go all out dancing to.
Sincere’s swinging rhythm is upbeat and again, Cerbone’s vocals adds depth to the song. The main riff is very catchy, and the pre-chorus abrupt guitar chords add a dynamic to the otherwise static, hold-the-fort rhythm. A monster of a song, What a Way To Go is a beautiful eight minute wonder. It instantly reminds me of Led Zeppelin (particularly Since I’ve Been Loving You) and that old-school slow blues style. The guitar work while it doesn’t melt your face off, it melts your heart with a very relaxing and enjoyable extended mid-song solo. A bit of a change from the previous song, Noumenal Blues takes a different turn and starts off sounding quite spooky, even akin to some sort of cross between Cream and early Pink Floyd. With a final surprise frantic and explosive chord-slamming finale, this song rounds off the album nicely.
Overall, ‘The Shape Of Blues To Come’ is a fantastic album that is quite sonically dynamic. It features tasty tunes that give you an old-school sort of vibe, channeling plenty of greats, while still being modern and unique. The songs vary in rhythm and groove, making it a very enjoyable listen overall. It is well worth a listen for the avid blues fan.
Pick up your copy of ‘The Shape Of Blues To Come’ HERE!