Reliqa – Eventide EP
Released: November 9th, 2018
Monique Pym // Vocals & Keys
Miles Knox // Guitars & Bass
Brandon Lloyd // Guitars & Bass
Shannon Griesberg // Drums
I told you this day would come, the day you listen to Reliqa and think to yourself, “holy shit, that sounds amazing!!!”. This fourpiece from the Central Coast in NSW have slaved away on this new release and goddamn it shows in the production and end result. The band first revealed themselves with their Afterlight EP which we reviewed earlier this year and stated the guys need to hone in on their craft and if they did, they’d have the potential to blow minds… well, it’s happened. You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a completely different band because their Eventide EP is SO FAR ADVANCED from that initial release. So let’s jump into it…
The new release opens with ‘Hangman‘, a somewhat slow and haunting intro of guitar strums and piano notes bring us up to a synth-infested section which serves only as a teaser for what’s to come next, a heavy explosion of riffs, fast drumming and mindblowing musical progression for this awesome foursome. By the time frontwoman Monique Pym comes in, the song’s tone is well and truly understood, we’re in for a hard rocking/metal showcase complete with guitar solos alluring vocal performances and mother fuckin’ double kicking guaranteed to get you moving. The collection of instrumentals, compliment Mon’s voice in what can only be described as a homage to Avenged Sevenfold… seriously, the closing notes of this track sound like they’re lifted from an A7X album, that’s how good they sound. ‘Into Fire‘ carries over those slow, alluring vocals from before as it creepingly brings us in with the opening seconds, that’s before the chorus lights everything up with some pretty huge sounding stadium rock/metal vibes. Group vox chants lead us into the third act which also includes what sounds like a string section too? It’s hard to tell at times because of the way it was mixed (they’re slightly faint in comparison to the other instruments) but you can tell they’re there if you listen hard enough. The same can be said for the vocals at the end which ever so slightly get lost amongst the sound of the rest of the band. I listened on another set of speakers to make sure it wasn’t mine and the same thing happened, which is a shame but it doesn’t take too much away from the song itself which has the potential to be a key player in the band’s live performances if perfected/corrected.
‘The Halfway Point‘ opens with a piano, fast-paced guitar riff and fucking EXPLODES as drummer Shannon Griesberg makes himself known in the track. Over the past year or so, we’ve seen bands emerge/succeed with incredible genre-crossing styles (e.g. Bare Bones, The Beautiful Monument, twenty one pilots) and it works so well for fans because when you hear an album for the first time, you don’t know what you’re going to get next. That’s the case three songs in with Reliqa, and I am absolutely loving it. By the time this one reaches the climax I swear I’ve heard everything from nu-metal, hard rock, heavy metal, metalcore (minus screaming) and even a taste of thrash before the last note rings out. If you like fast and furious songs, but you’re not a fan of screaming (yet), start with this and you’ll be throwing down in moshpits in no time. ‘Golden Age‘ begins with synth and strings (which sadly do nothing for me this time), but a solo guitar playing piques my interest enough to pay attention to the rest of the song which features zero singing and focuses primarily on the instrumental skills these legends have. It’s 2:07 minutes of fun, fantastic musicianship. If the band lost that initial 12 seconds from the start it’d be perfect, I just feel it takes away from what the rest of the piece of music has to offer. ‘E.O.D.‘ aka End of Days leaves a HUGE impression instantaneously with the heavy intro prior to Pym showcasing her rock voice. Once again, this one blends heavy guitar riffs, bangin’ drum beats, piano notes, synth and strings, proving you don’t need to be a large-scale metal band like Parkway Drive to pull off such an idea.
‘Earthbound‘ is a song (in my opinion) which is served to show off Monique’s vocal talent as she sings alongside a piano and synth-infused intro before a distant, soft drum joins in halfway through. Would you consider this to be a ballad? Absolutely! Is it like other ballads? Nope, it’s more poetic, however, it ends like a ballad with a built up, all in contribution section. I guess its needed to ease you into arguably the BEST song on this release, ‘Doomed‘. Within seconds of the song starting up I’m transported back to the late 90’s/early 2000’s industrial metal scene with bands like Orgy, Fear Factory, Rammstein and Static-X flooding back through my memory when I hear the guitars and drums playing alongside each other. Its fast paced, hectic playing and incredibly well produced too with Monique’s absolutely vocals complimenting the band. There’s even a rap-rock section towards the middle which at first sounded a little out of place, but later justified its position within the song. You can’t listen to this just once, I guarantee you’ll hit reply on that fucker again and again and again until you can’t stand it anymore. The EP wraps up with ‘Deja Vu‘ and if heavy metal is where your musical preferences lay, you’ll froth over the intro of this one with its huge chuggy riffs and Metallica inspired solos. They make up the first half of this monstrous display of melodic-metal madness at its finest… seriously, this track is something else and will go right the fuck off live when either in an indoor or outdoor setting. The issue being these guys are just starting out, so it’ll be a few years before we get to see them play in a large scale venue like the aforementioned, but, in saying that, if someone gives these kids a chance to prove themselves, they have the potential to blow all expectations out of the water.
The Eventide EP is eyebrow-raising and exceptionally enjoyable listening from a group of hard-working and talented upcomers. The progression this band has shown from their first EP attempt earlier this year to now is astounding and needs to be acknowledged. While there are some songs that aren’t as heavy hitting as others (like any album), the ones that do their job and stand out from the rest set up the potential Reliqa has on all of their future releases. I’m so bloody stoked I came across these guys when they first started out, because seeing them grow as musicians is so great to watch and experience. I’m a fan and you should be too.
Reliqa – Eventide EP tracklisting
2. Into Fire
3. The Halfway Point
4. Golden Age
8. Deja Vu
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