Justice is more than a principle to hard rock legends-in-the-making Rev Theory. Itâ€™s the sound of amplified thunder and the energy of the stage, harnessed in the studio and captured on a stunning new album thatâ€™s plugged straight into the soul of America.
Justice is also the title of that album, a galvanizing breakthrough that unites the group with producer Terry Date (Pantera, Deftones, Slipknot, Soundgarden, etc.) and makes Rev Theory the new standard bearer for rock that blends heaviness with heart.
â€œJustice means so much to us,â€ explains guitarist Julien Jorgensen. â€œItâ€™s not just an album title. Itâ€™s a call to action.â€
â€œA lot of people are disillusioned. Theyâ€™ve lost their jobs and their homes. Theyâ€™ve lost faith in their leaders. We all need something to inspire us, something to make us believe again. We hope songs like â€˜Justiceâ€™ and â€˜Guilty by Designâ€™ can rally people and maybe get them to believe, whether itâ€™s in themselves, in humanity or in rock â€˜nâ€™ roll.â€
Rev Theoryâ€™s rallying call explodes through the title track as singer Rich Luzzi belts â€œI want justice/I want you overthrown/I want courage/I wanna stand alone.â€ He summons a blend of indignation and pride over a pyrotechnic sea of churning guitars and pure bass/drums overdrive, offset by the fireworks of lead guitarist Rikki Lixxâ€™s edgy solo, which whistles out of the mix like a rocket. Songs like â€œHangman,â€ â€œThe Fireâ€ and â€œLoaded Gunâ€ are destined to inspire with their strong messages about righteous retribution, identity and salvation. But what truly sets Justice apart in Rev Theoryâ€™s discography â€” and on todayâ€™s stages â€” is the transcendent might of their new music.
â€œFireâ€ brims with drama as a majestic spray of guitars creates a dark rainbow of sound that dissolves for Luzziâ€™s soaring vocal arc, and then returns for the songâ€™s epic climax. And â€œHangmanâ€ is all gristle and bone, shoved along by a locomotive riff and Dave Agogliaâ€™s spike-driving snare drum.
â€œWith Justice, weâ€™ve been able to take it all â€” our playing, our songwriting, our focus and our sound â€” to a new level,â€ Jorgensen explains. â€œWeâ€™ve gotten there through years of hard work, sweating it out on stage after stage, getting tighter, heavier, and stronger show by show. â€œWe are exactly like our fans, which chase their dreams by working hard and putting everything they have into everything they do. We have blue collar fans and we are a 100-percent blue-collar band.â€
For proof, check Rev Theoryâ€™s eight-year history. They have toured relentlessly since Julien, Rich, Dave and bassist Matt McCloskey formed the group on Long Island in 2002. Between 2005â€™s Truth is Currency and their initial breakthrough 2008â€™s Light It Up â€” whose title track became the theme for WrestleMania XXIV and launched Rev Theoryâ€™s high-profile musical relationship with World Wrestling Entertainmentâ€” the band spent hundreds of thousands of miles in a van to play roughly 250 dates each year. That trek included opening slots on tours with many of the artistâ€™s they respect, which included Avenged Sevenfold, MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e, and others.
â€œWhat we learned from being close to all those great bands was that we needed to define our identity, to pinpoint the qualities that truly make us Rev Theory,â€ Julien explains. That meant drawing on their deepest roots, as both musicians and men. â€œWe had to be honest about the music that inspires us, from punk rock to classic metal, and grunge to pop,â€ he continues. â€œThen we needed to discover what we were really passionate about as people, and thatâ€™s honor, truth, love and respect. Those are the qualities that define each and every one of us.â€
Next, Rev Theory notched things up. â€œWe pushed ourselves harder, to really perfect our playing and our sound,â€ Jorgensen says. â€œWe opened up our melodies. Matt played a big role in that by singing more harmonies and counter-melodies with Rich, as well Matt sings leads on â€˜Hollow Manâ€™ which created more variety in our sound. As far as the guitars, Rikki really stepped up to the plate as a monster player. â€œEverything is more of a group effort now, with contributions from all sides things really blossomed.â€
Working with Date completed Rev Theoryâ€™s transition to the next level. â€œTerry took all the elements weâ€™d improved on and made them sound great,â€ Jorgensen attests. â€œOur intent was to harness the energy of our live show for the album, and Terry was able to deliver it. We couldnâ€™t be more proud of this body of work.â€
In a sense, Jorgensen believes that Justice brings a dose of exactly that to Rev Theory.
â€œEveryone walking this Earth has encountered an injustice,â€ he explains. â€œAs much as we love what weâ€™re doing â€” and Rev Theory means everything to us â€” weâ€™ve worked hard to find ourselves, to overcome all the challenges of the business, and the demons of life on the road. Part of the concept of justice is to be able to get whatâ€™s yours. As a band we have rallied around the belief that with this album our time has come and we are going to grab it.â€