Event Relentless - Cold Black November - (8/10)
Published on September 10, 2015
Melodic death metal is a genre usually best left in the past, as countless bands have come along and just copied what came before them, usually quite badly. While the genre’s beginnings with seminal albums from In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and Ceremonial Oath, the Gothenburg scene truly molded melodic death metal into what it is today. It wasn’t long until bands like Norther, Kalmah and Children of Bodom were making their mark as well, although in a slightly more keyboard driven way, but owing much to the Gothenburg scene. Say what you will about melodic death metal, but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find a metalhead who never at least had a phase in which they worshiped the style.
More than two decades after the genre really began taking off, Event Relentless, a young Finnish three piece melodic death metal band, released their debut EP, Cold Black November. Event Relentless certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s a damn fine debut that definitely doesn’t just copy its predecessors. Following in the footsteps of their fellow countrymen, Event Relentless focuses on a keyboard driven sound with a high energy thrashy riffing style. The majority of riffing focuses on catchy power chord progressions while the drums offer a mix of galloping beats and double bass runs. The instrumentation is high energy and the band changes up tempo just enough to keep things interesting throughout the EP. The vocals are mostly deep growls, adding another dose of that Finnish sound to their music.
The most prominent feature on Cold Black November are the neoclassical-tinged keyboards woven throughout. While they function nicely, adding melodic touches and a majestic sound to the EP, they are extremely loud in the mix. It’s actually quite difficult to hear the riffing or vocals while the keys are blaring away. It would be more of an issue if the keys weren’t well played, but they are. Adding another dose of melody, the lead guitars offer some decent soloing, but it’s not overplayed. The interplay between the catchy riffing and fast paced keyboard notes is the band’s biggest attraction, so it’s interesting that the left the keys so high in the mix.
Cold Black November is a fine debut offering from this Finnish trio. The band’s sound is familiar and nostalgic without stepping on any graves. Fans of Kalmah and Norther should find plenty to enjoy here. Excellent interplay between instrumentation and classy songwriting without being too flashy, Event Relentless have loads of potential. Aside from the overly loud keyboard sound, the band seems poised for big things, so keep an eye towards Finland.