Album Review: Relentless - 'Turn the Curse'

3 February 2013 | 3:11 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Heavy, striking hardcore from one of Sydney hardcore's top acts

Sydney's Relentless have been a long-running mainstay of Australian hardcore since the release of their 2006 demo. Seven years after their inception, and with an EP and full-length album under their belt, along with nabbing support slots for the likes of Trapped Under Ice and Cruel Hand and headlining tours across Australia and South-East Asia, the band release their most refined, aggressive record yet with 'Turn the Curse'.

Moments into opener 'With a Voice', it becomes pretty apparent what Relentless are all about. Fast, heavy riffs and gang vocals kick the record off in Relentless' tried-and-true style of New York-influenced hardcore, and the trademark sound the band have carved out for themselves through the years carries on throughout the album.

The record continues in much the same fashion; short, loud and to the point. With most tracks on 'Turn the Curse' averaging at around the two and a half minute mark, the album doesn't slow down or lose focus for a second, maintaining a steady, aggressive flow. Each track feels like it would slot in perfectly to the band's live setlist – mass crowd singalongs come to mind frequently thoughout. Thrashy guitar solos are used sparingly, a nice touch that accentuates the aspects of the record that feel suited to the headbang-inclined.

That said, occasionally the tracks can feel as though they bleed into one another – those who don't typically enjoy this type of hardcore may find 'Turn the Curse' grow too similar by the record's end – but ultimately, for a genre that traditionally doesn't offer a world of experimentation, Relentless have crafted an album that, for the most part, mixes things up and stays quite interesting.

Aesthetically, the record sounds impressively polished without feeling artificial. Produced by Nick Jett of Terror, whose production credits include Internal Affairs, Strife and Backtrack's 'Darker Half', 'Turn the Curse' manages to keep all the ferocity and immediacy that makes this brand of hardcore what it is, while sounding clean and professional at the same time.

With 'Turn the Curse', Relentless firmly hold onto their title as one of Sydney's premier hardcore outfits. Crushing, fierce and heavy, the album is a brilliant display of a band with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

1. With a Voice

2. Don't Wait for Death

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3. World I Despise

4. All We Know

5. What I've Become

6. True Colours

7. Rise

8. Undefeated

9. Wasting Away

10. Justice for None

11. Turn the Curse