Thursday, September 26, 2013

Relinquished-Onward Anguishes

Noisehead Records
With two full-length albums now attached to their name, as well as a demo EP called "Rehearsal Doom", it does seem as if Austria's Relinquished should be more well-known by now. The band, having been started in 2004 by (at the time) bassist Sebastian Bramböck (who now sings for the band) and guitarist Anton Keuschnick, certainly have the chops and all jazz so what gives? If I had to make the call it would seem as if we're just looking at too much of a good thing. Here it is where we have a really good band, right now we're looking at an overabundance in this band's particular field of choice. That field is melodic death metal and even the best of the best is finding it hard to get a proper foot-hold. Yes, I've used this argument before but hear me out. Remember how, once upon a time, thrash was still king and there were so many bands coming up the pipeline that everything just got scrunched up together. Do you remember that? Are you old enough to? Well, if your answer is yes then with Relinquished it sure seems as if there is just one too many good melodic death metal bands tearing up the scene and good ones like this, well, they just don't get a proper chance. Maybe this review will help the band out though. Maybe. I hope so as, even if there are far too many new melodic death metal bands to keep track of (which is also kind of a good thing right?), a band like Relinquished has plenty to offer listeners. Let's start up-front with our lead vocalist Sebastian Bramböck. While he does go full-out "death metal growl" on most of this release, which is cool and all, he also manages to make the lyrics somewhat understandable. Even so, the band does employ clean vocals by way of guitarist Simon Dettendorfer. The interplay between clean and harsh is actually well-done here and the two vocalists really do compliment each other. Next up, as far as what I enjoyed about this group and this album, is the the drumming of Florian Vonach. In most cases drummers get pushed to the back of death metal bands. It's somewhat different here as Florian's playing incorporates everything from near rock-like drumming to jazz drumming and the album is mixed in such a way as to let his playing stand out just as much as everything else on this album from lead vocals to guitars and bass. Speaking of which, Dominik Steffan (who was a former schoolmate of  Sebastian Bramböck) handles bass on this album as he adds nice and heavy lines to the mix that make this Austria-based band sound near progressive at times. Of course it should come as no surprise, but the two guitarists involved here really empower the technical aspect of Relinquished while simultaneously rolling out leads that draw from the finer moments of heavy thrash. Without over-hyping the pair, they do deserve mention as (far too often for my tastes) it's sad how terribly dull some death metal guitarists can become. The fact that the two guitarists here provide heavy as hell riffs while also indulging in melodic solos isn't so much the amazing thing. That's supposed to be a given with this kind of death metal right? No, as stated above, it has more to do with how these guys (sort of) thrash out and employ fine as wine rock-based rhythms! This bunch cut's it's way through all the clutter that is "one and the same" generic melodic death metal. Need an example? Check out "Another Lightsource Going Out" and you'll hear the difference between this bunch and the (overabundance of) lame melodic death metal bands out there. Anyway, this album and band is pretty sweet even if it does have an uphill battle on it's hands when it comes to sticking out.It should go without saying then that this one is most definitely recommended! 

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