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RELIQA: Secrets Of The Future

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Greyscale Records/Nuclear Blast Records

May 31 2024

Words by Michael Naidos

A band not afraid to bounce through genres and do things outside the box, Reliqa are back and bolder than before. Following 2022’s EP I Don’t Know What I Am and supporting the likes of Spiritbox, BABYMETAL and Halestorm’s recent Knotfest sideshows, Reliqa have since then come to find themselves hot off a self-confessed successful change to their workflow and meet each other on the other side with their eclectic debut album, Secrets of the Future.

The thumping first track Dying Light has a vibe that took me back to early-00’s Korn with part hip-hop, part coloratura vocals and a thick grooving rhythm. The band also released a video for this track, and vocalist Monique Pym ostensibly carries somewhat a Jon Davis style, complete with a Fieldy-like bassist in the impressive Miles Knox.

Much respect.

Armoured with a progressive metal influence, Reliqa showcase the boundaries of their songwriting and a strong atmosphere of desolate attitude is identified. The tone and structure choices, as well as matured production quality, sure polish the elaboration of the title’s “future”.

Cave deals with taking positive turns and as Pym sings “What a beautiful mess you’ve made” it dawns on me just how the band avoids any clumsy stumbling or over-saturation when it comes to approaching such a big cumulative sound. With so many layers from each of Benjamin Knox’ flourishing drum fills to the melodic and expertise harmonising by guitarist Brandon Llyod, it’s refreshing to see a blend of styles done so proficient in the technicality of it all.

Killstar (The Cold World)’s frantic vocals and high energy match its anarchic spirit. Emerging on the album is a concept of emotional reactions, as The Flower watches these feelings blossom poetically.

Pym bears her soul through understanding of the world and her place in it. Sariah being one of the strongest moments as she explores upon deep reflection the titular “secrets” and its connection to one’s worth.

The bass is once again prominent, with Keep Yourself Awake’s percussive guidance matching the acrobatic vocals throughout. The evolution of sounds and lyrical journey of the album gives me the feel of a movie soundtrack. The disarraying breaks and tumbling drums are so reminiscent of Inception, it’s as if I were in a tumbling van myself.

Things slow down for Crossfire, allowing the band to flaunt their sombreness more so, powerful in its vulnerability and carrying an explosive chorus. After acknowledging the album’s cinematic presence, please forgive me as I liken the track to another Christopher Nolan classic, Oppenheimer.

The rapidfire of drums in Physical feels like warfare, though I haven’t seen Dunkirk to confidentially reference it. As the heavy-footed chorus steadies the track, it also solidifies the album’s quality in songwriting has yet to waver and remains strong in its innovation.

The beautiful collision of sounds continues in Two Steps Apart and A Spark with introspective lyrics worthy of a large audience singing along at a festival (if they’re still around in the future). “Couldn’t stop the clock” on shirts at merch desks nationwide.

The ethereal final track Upside Down embraces and accepts the past in all its flaws and learns to grow stronger from them. A satisfying end to an excellent album. The philosophies and shared spotlight of skills presented in the LP and the band’s foray into bending the progressive metal genre throughout make for an impressive debut.

Reliqa have sized themselves up for a big year with Secrets of the Future, and its accommodating tour. I hope we see and hear much more from them in the latter half of 2024 and beyond.

Pre-orders are available now via https://grysclrec.lnk.to/reliqa.

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