After two excellent albums with power thrash pioneers Metal Church, vocalist David Wayne split from the band (reportedly on very bitter terms). He was eventually replaced in Metal Church by Mike Howe of the band Heretic. Out on his ass, “Reverend” Wayne was looking for a new project when, ironically, the guys from Heretic contacted him. In a weird switcharoo, Wayne joined forces with some of the remaining members of Heretic (three of whom had performed on 1988’s Breaking Point album with Howe). This included guitarist and principal Heretic songwriter Brian Korban. It was a match made in hell — which of course, in the heavy metal world, is a good thing!
The band called themselves Reverend and debuted in 1989 with a four-song, self-titled EP on Caroline Records. Few have heard this album, which is unfortunate because it kicks serious ass. The album is heavier than a brick shit-house! Korban and crew provide crushing riffs and rhythms for Wayne to spew his poisoned-tongued vocals over the top. Whether you like his voice or not, there is no denying that Wayne was one of a kind on vocals. No one sounded like him. Every time he stepped to the microphone its was a psycho circus! I’m not sure who wrote the album’s lyrics (all writing credits go to Reverend) but I am going to assume it was Wayne. These lyrics express paranoia, rage, cynicism, and an overall bad f*cking mood! Very smart lyrics, and Wayne just owns every last syllable. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be some kind of revenge album, but it damn sure sounds like these guys are out for blood on this seething, jaded mini-masterpiece. Check out the phenomenal Ritual. Recommended! My score: A