Album Review: Relentless - 'Set In Stone'

19 September 2010 | 7:05 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

An effort worthy of the top ten Australian hardcore releases this year.

While Relentless have never been shy in expressing the truth, their new album 'Set In Stone' delivers their strongest blow yet to all who oppose them. Since the release of their 2008 EP 'Opposition To Control', Relentless have added a new dimension to their sound and improved out of sight. Few bands in Australian hardcore today can come close to matching the hostile belligerence that Relentless have showcased in these 11 tracks.

Though a deviation from the simple structured 'paint by numbers' style of previous Relentless material, tracks such as 'Flowing Through', 'Inner Darkness' and 'Faced With The End' are as merciless as ever. Drummer Dean Vardon has clearly become more adventurous behind the kit, adding more 'bounce' to already aggressive rhythms. Vocally, Trent Baldock has completely revamped his vocal technique, opting instead for a more spiteful, enraged approach.

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The band have also called upon Aaron Butkus, vocalist of Connecticut hardcore veterans Death Threat (one of their biggest influences) to provide guest vocals on the track 'Brighter Days'. The lyrics reflect similar concepts to previous Relentless tracks, with a strong basis on opposition to systems of oppression. 'Set In Stone' is an indication of Relentless' true potential, and hopefully the first of several remarkable full lengths.

Relentless are a band who know how to adapt to their surroundings. The new album 'Set In Stone' is proof of the Sydney based quintet's ability to acclimatise itself to the standard expected from the hardcore scene in 2010. Since their previous Dogfight Records output, the band has made their ambitions clear, and what we are left with is a step up on all fronts - a record worthy of praise not just for its quality, but for the efforts of each member.

1. 'Against'

2. 'Brighter Days'

3. 'I'll Remain'

4. 'Flowing Through'

5. 'Conquer All'

6. 'Inner Darkness'

7. 'Your Demise'

8. 'Controlled Mindset'

9. 'Faced With The End'

10. 'Outside On The Inside'

11. 'Forever'