Relief In Sleep

Relief In Sleep

Written by: TL on 01/05/2014 12:42:36

A few weeks ago I reviewed the recently released re-issue of Florida-based Relief In Sleep's debut album "Godspeed", finding it a surprisingly solid and catchy record if not the most original. That review was actually a mistake however, since it was always their new self-titled that I was meant to check out, so after a few weeks with this in rotation as well, here I am back for another glance with the band.

In case you didn't read my article on "Godspeed", to catch you up Relief In Sleep are a quartet-turned-trio from Tampa that deals in female fronted melodic, ambient metalcore, and while their new self-titled album still conjures comparisons to Brighter Than A Thousand Suns, Eyes Set To Kill, VersaEmerge and Deadlock, things seem a slight bit less dreamy and dramatic on here, and instead go harder and more ferociously at the listener, though still with enough melodic balance to facilitate a mix I think showcases the band drawing inspiration from their influences in Killswitch Engage.

Despite getting faster and more aggressive for stretches on here however, Relief In Sleep sound mostly themselves, with Kara Dennis' high and sharp cleans leading the soundscape with occasional responses from guitarist Justin Gregorio. The hint of digital processing remains in the periphery of Dennis' range, but in a self-concious capacity that avoids sounding totally uncool. While there's still a high degree of pathos to the style however, I feel like the discourse has changed in the songs from Dennis singing in a more desperate, introverted style on "Godspeed", to being more extroverted and assertive on here - And I'm not sure if I can come to terms with that, because the band never occured to me like one to reach across the barrier and instigate things, rather like one to be so engaged in their own narratives that it would rub off on the crowd or listeners without encouragement.

Whether or not its this or just a slight decline in hook efficiency that's made me enjoy "Relief In Sleep" somewhat less than "Godspeed" is a good question that can't quite be ignored. The production on the album is modestly diverse without being gimmicky and the mix is fine, allowing the instruments to deliver competent surges of both tapped leads (check out the prog bit in "Tainted") and heavy, distorted rhythm work as per the genre's customs. For one reason or another though, it just doesn't consistently display the same irresistible catchyness that made the band feel better than where they were at career-wise on "Godspeed". "Forever" and "Roulette" are noteworthy tracks, but ultimately also a bit grating. Instead "Relief In Sleep" showcases the Relief In Sleep in a shape that fits the mold of a third tier metalcore band more snugly, one which let's you hear that they know what they're doing but that they need to do some personality development in terms of style and/or compositions unless they want to settle for merely decent, middle of the road genericness.


Download: Roulette, Forever
For The Fans Of: Brighter Than A Thousand Suns, Eyes Set To Kill, VersaEmerge

Release date 01.04.2014
Imminence Records

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