Aug 102012

(In this review, TheMadIsraeli introduces us to the music of an Austrian band named Relinquished — and there’s a full-album stream at the end, too.)

Alright, time to get off the anticipated and major releases and get back to the more under-the-radar shit.

Relinquished are a quite potent progressive melodic death metal band hailing from Austria. Honestly, I foresaw this as being some kind of shitty-ass deathcore judging from the cover, but was quite surprised.  Influences ranging from Into Eternity to Bloodbath, from The Faceless to even Daylight Dies are all here.  The guitar work is technical, intricate, and layered, and the songwriting does a  stellar job of integrating dynamics and drama.  The music also features a lot of harsh/clean vocal interplay, evoking memories of Opeth, Ihsahn, and the afore-mentioned Daylight Dies.  This is good stuff.

Today I’m reviewing the band’s sophomore album Onward Anguishes, released on April 8.  They have a debut entitled Susanna Lies in Ashes (an album I intend to hunt down now) and an EP by the name of Rehearsal Doom for those who like the music enough to check them out further.

The opener “Authority” begins with a blazing lead assault and a blackened flurry of dense chords and blast beats that eviscerate.  The ensuing riffs are to-the-point, low-tuned grooves accompanied by intricate, tasty, neo-classical lead work, and the chorus is an anthem of melodic bombast the likes of which you would expect from Amon Amarth or Before the Dawn.  It’s an effective introduction to the album indeed.

The next song, “Loss Delusion”, immediately reveals that this album is more nuanced than you might have first expected.  A sense of morbid doom permeates the track, with a melancholy jazz intro and interspersed sections of low-tuned sludge and clean music, instantly invoking the kind of depression of which Katatonia are masters.  The chorus is grandiose in an old-school Opeth sense, with surging double bass underneath the rainfall of shimmering chord walls and solemn, almost chanting cleans (with female vocals added here and there to taste).

“To Whom I Could Relate” is an interesting song that begins like a ballad but escalates into mid-paced intensity, bringing to mind the best of old In Flames.  The lead work in this song, particularly the song’s solo, is pretty fucking tasty while earning the shred cred.  This is also the most clean-vocal oriented song on the album, but I don’t mind.  Sebastian Brambock has a mighty roar, but his clean vocals exude some real soul that fits right in with the character of the music.

Overall, the album is full of badass moments and surprises (there are times when a fucking CLARINET makes an appearance), and I found the assortment of riffs, instrumental sections, and solos to be overall pretty enthralling.  I suggest you give this album a listen and form your own opinion, but I’m confident most of you will dig on this.  Melodic death metal, when done well, seems to be something that both the writers and readers at NCS are into.  The band were kind enough to provide a Soundcloud player stream of the whole album for us to feature below.  Enjoy.

[soundcloud url=”″ height=”200″ iframe=”true” /]




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