King of Kings Rivera/Bomma - Invisible Force (Secret Port) 2002

1. "Invisible Force" [instrumental] (2:32)
2. "Victory" (4:12)
3. "Tatot Reader" (5:57)
4. "Cry Of Love" (5:13)
5. "Eclectic" (5:03)
....a. Zpehyer
....b. Tempest I
....c. Morning Rain
....d. Spanish Ecstacy
....e. Tempest II
6. "No Win Situation" (4:30)
7. "The Holy One" (6:03)
8. "Hand of God" [instrumental] (3:16)
9. "Revelation" (8:56)
10. "Full Moon in Spain" (3:24)
11 "Cry of Love" [acoustic] (6:05)

Rivera/Bomma are made up of guitarist Rod Rivera and vocalist/keyboardist John Bomma. Rod was formerly the lead guitarist for the Christian rock band PROPHECY. John joined Hades as their original lead vocalist in 1980. In 1998, he recorded the back up vocals and an a capella track titled "Our Father" on Hades' "Saviour Self". Together they have created a dynamic and musically proficient album titled "Invisible Force". I am always on the look out for good Christian metal releases. This is one such release. A friend sent me this disc to check out and I must say, I was impressed on the very first listen. Rivera/Bomma are melodic and semi-progressive heavy metal that compares to Rob Rock or Balance of Power. Rivera/Bomma are perhaps a bit mellower than those two bands as the keyboard is an essential ingredient in their music, however, I would not say the music is a 'soft'. The album starts off with a mellow piano led intro before kicking into a heavy, neo-classical metal number titled "Victory." The songs each vary in tempo and aggression, with a few ballads to keep things interesting. Lyrically, labeling the band a "Christian band" will inevitably bring thoughts of "Rock for the Rock" type lyrics. This is not the case at all. The lyrics are well thought out and thought provoking. Songs like "Holy One" are very personal and are presented almost is if in a prayer. This particular release was released in Greece, but Rivera/Bomma are actually from New Jersey, USA, my former stomping grounds. This import release comes with a nice booklet that includes all the lyrics. Apparently the domestic version has no lyrics, a completely different cover and less songs.

Rivera Bomma - I Am God (promo) 2005

1. "I Am God" (9:34)
2. "You Are My Child" (4:36)
3. "He Died For You" (6:41)
4. "Oh Girl" (7:01)
5. "Riding High" (7:01)
6. "The Holy One" (5:17)
7. "Sing To Me" (7:24)
8. "Help" (6:01)
9. "La Voz De Mi Guitarra" (4:22)
10. Revelation" (7:46)

This pre-release album was only released in limited quantities to some labels and reviewers. In the early part of this year 2005, John Bomma (singer) and Rod Rivera (guitar) decided their newly recorded second CD "I Am God" needed re-mastering and possible remixing so they started the process. In the meantime they had signed with Mausoleum Records in Germany. Apparently the band just didn't feel the recording of this CD was what they wanted, so they decided instead of remastering that they would go back into the studio to rerecord, rearrange and add to some different songs to the CD. Needless to say, the original will be a collector's item and will not be released again in it's original format as seen here. Had this CD been released as it were, I don't think many would have complained about the production or the songwriting. "I Am God" is solid, epic, progressive hard rock and heavy metal. Unlike many prog-metal bands, these guys aren't attempting to be a Dream Theater clone and know how to write some simple, catchy melodies, while at the same time putting for some technical musicianship. The lyrics are all very much of a Christian nature and are of a worshipful nature. If the new CD is better than this, I am sure it will blow down some doors with proper marketing and distribution.

Rivera/Bomma Rivera Bomma - Infinite Journey Of Soul (Retroactive) 2012

1.  I.J.O.S. (intro) (1:40)
2.  Infinite Journey Of Soul (4:52)
3.  Empty Desire (5:40)
4.  In Blood (7:02)
5.  Via Dolorosa (4:56)
6.  Angel And Demons (5:23)
7.  Horizon's End (7:12)
8.  In My Dreams (4:36)
9.  The Maker (6:33)
10. Before The End - MMXIII [instrumental] (2:01)

"Infinite Journey Of Soul" is the first new music from Rivera/Bomma in seven years. For this new release the band is founding members Johnny Bomma (vocals) and Rod Rivera (guitars) as well as drummer Edward Faust and bassist Mike LePond, most known for his work with Symphony X. However, LePond also played bass in underground cult band Heathens Rage, as well as Seven Witches, Distant Thunder, among others. Having two solid releases behind them and also having LePond in the band, I was excited for a powerful progressive power metal CD. Musically, the band delivers; six tracks of modern power metal with some spectacular guitar work from Mr. Rivera. Some of the tracks are fairly heavy, such as "In Blood", "The Maker" and "Angel and Demons". "In Blood" actually walks a fine line between speed metal and power metal, with it's heavy riffs and upbeat tempo. The remaining four tracks are the short intro "I.J.O.S.", a power ballad titled "In My Dreams", a cover of "Via Dolorosa" and a two minute guitar solo that ends the album called "Before The End - MMXIII ". I believe "Via Dolorosa" was originally sung by Sandi Patty. This is a wonderful cover of an emotionally charged song that recalls Jesus' "walk of grief' as his beaten and bruised body carried the cross to the place where he would be crucified. Johnny Bomma sings with a clean, mid-range style and does a wonderful job on this song.

The production on "Infinite Journey Of Soul" holds this CD back from all it could have been. The overall sound is very narrow and compressed and the music itself is terribly recorded. Unfortunately the guitars are so muddy at times, the riffs are nearly inaudible in the mix. This is probably the biggest fault with the recording as those heavy riffs are what makes power metal great. While it's awesome that Mike LePond performed bass on the album, it's unfortunate that bass guitar itself in lost in the mix. It's nearly impossible to pick out the bass guitar parts. The vocals are clear, though they seem somewhat saturated in delay. To be honest, when I first popped the CD in I thought something was wrong with my stereo. It's unfortunate that Rivera/Bomma couldn't muster up a better recording for this album. It would have made for a far better listen.

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