The Retaliation Process

Downfall

Written by: AP on 14/04/2010 23:23:27

Lo and behold, a new trend is emerging in music. It no longer suffices to differentiate between various forms of metal and their respective core compatriots, now we must also consider a third option when attempting to categorise music of a metallic complexion: modern metal. Not as uncompromising as straight-up metal (which, in my book at least, is an umbrella term for bands like Pantera, Sepultura and Lamb of God), but still less polished and less melodic than metalcore tends to be. One of the proprietors of this crossover genre is Chimaira; another is Dååth; and Danish metal aficionados will undoubtedly recognise the sound as that practiced by copious homeland heroes, most recently The Kandidate. It should come as no surprise then, that the Hamburg, Germany based Retaliation Process, who fearlessly attach themselves to the genre on their promotional material, dance to similar tunes with their debut album "Downfall".

"Uprising" serves as the pathway to the band's music both on the album and on MySpace, and as such it provides an accurate cue as to what can be expected from the songs that follow. Chimaira, in particular, springs to mind from the thick, down-tuned instrumentation, and Christoph Madarasz's jugular growling only strengthens the impression. It also becomes abundantly clear that "Downfall" is not pushing the envelope for growling and singing atop the muscular riffs that comprise most of the music and the melodic leads with which the band attempts to set themselves apart from their many likes. But then there's only so far you can push the melody and brutality combo, and unlike Dååth for instance, The Retaliation Process have found a good balance between the two, best exemplified in the songs "Uprising", "Bridge End...", "Carnal Addiction", "Down", and the slower "On the Way Back" (which also airs the bands taste for progressive songwriting). Unfortunately the choruses that appear in these pieces, while powerful in their own right, lack the strength to become truly memorable moments. Consequently there is little on offer here that addresses the skepticism inherent in the important question, why should you listen to The Retaliation Process?

What little such material there is on offer, however, is worth giving the disc spin or two. Granted, they do not stray too far from their influences, but the twin guitar attacks that periodically shoot off from the mix coupled with rock solid production incline me to keep listening, lest some moment of grandeur slips beneath my radar. Trouble is, of course, that such moments never manifest themselves even when the foundations are laid with a promising crescendo or ominous chugging and one is instead left with the overall impression that The Retaliation Process write solid songs with no flaws in particular to put a finger on in technical terms, but lack the identity and longevity to compete in the major leagues.

6

Download: Uprising, Carnal Addiction, Down, On the Way Back
For the fans of: Chimaira, DevilDriver, Dååth, God Forbid, Heaven Shall Burn
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.02.2010
Silverwolf Productions

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