Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Frontiers Records, 2021)

Karakter: 5/6

SWEET OBLIVION album cover.jpgMelodically rich (prog-ish) metal featuring the inimitable Geoff Tate (ex-Queensryche) on vocals is what we have here and let me start off by saying that I find their 2021 opus more exciting, emotionally charged, and memorable than its predecessor from 2019. While the first one was a solid effort and an enjoyable listen, these sparkling new compositions possess a better flow and sound more confident, and the atmosphere here is one of melancholy and yearning, which appeals to me greatly.

The musicianship is all quality and class, and I find Geoff's voice strong and vibrant here and ideally suited to the song material. There is a certain edge or quality that some singers who have been around for decades attain, which something akin to experience that feeds into the tunes where one is left with the impression that the vocalist in question has actually "lived" these particular tracks, if that makes sense. It is a certain sense of conviction and emotional weight that comes with age, I suppose. Anyway, as usual I digress, so let me wrap up this neat little review of mine by stating that the production is absolutely gorgeous and is as crisp as it is powerful. Simply put, "Relentless" is one of those discs that I will be coming back to again and again in the future, and I strongly suggest that you check it out if you are fan of Tate's past work or expertly crafted melodic metal (with prog-inspired undertones) in general. The only real downside is the tune named "Aria" where they sing in Italian, and although I admire the experiment and idea, it comes across as a little too strained and inorganic somehow. Other than that, there are heaps of majestic, captivating songs such as "One Again One Sin", "Another Change", "Wake Up Call", and "Anybody Out There" to be enjoyed here and they are fucking magnificent and worthy of your time.

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