Tuesday, April 14, 2015

CD review: RELENTLESS Souls Of Charon by Dave Wolff

Souls Of Charon
This is another release currently available from Chicago’s Do Or Die records. As opposed to the material I reviewed from Nocturne, Relentless lean closer toward doom metal bands like Trouble and Candlemass. This band boasts a frontwoman whose style is quite good; genuinely chilling and creepy. It took a couple listens to Souls Of Charon to begin appreciating their motif but now I’m growing progressively hooked. On this six-track EP is dark atmosphere, solid songwriting, strong progressions and effective Tony Iommi-like solos that often got my attention. I am consistently drawn towards Carlee Jackson whose ethereal voice seems to hauntingly vibrate beneath the songs or soar above them like a dark angel. Her delivery is almost goth-like next to the music, and the contrast between her and the band presents many opportunities for growth. With her delivering the vocals for the band, each track is like a visit from a different demoness coming to take you on journeys from which there might be no return. This formula is more effective in hypnotic cuts like Trapped Underground, United By Darkness and Forever Damned, but overall I can imagine it professionally produced on a full length recording and see their potential to entrance audiences on much larger scales. The artwork designed by Erik Pertl fits the material on a primal level somewhat akin to the artwork that graced Burzum albums in the 90s, and there is an eight page booklet that features the lyrics to each song. The band’s page on Do Or Die’s official Bandcamp site includes a demo track for a song called Night Terrors. This song differs from the EP as it features a thrashy opener followed by a traditional metal feel. -Dave Wolff