It may come as no surprise, when you hear the first track from ‘cold black November’ that the band, Event Relentless, hail from Finland. Dealing in epic, high-octane melodic death metal, the band was formed a mere two years ago by singer/guitarist Juho Raita and have clearly spent a good deal of time honing their sound. Drawing parallels with countrymen Children of Bodom, Event Relentless operate in a more melodic vein but what stands out is the energy and quality of the compositions and there’s no question that Event Relentless have a bright future ahead of them.
The EP opens with the fast-paced ‘Duality’. Despite a six-minute run time, the inventive riffs, gruff vocals and frantic synth work combine effortlessly to make the song fly by in a tenth of its actual run time. Better still is the gruelling sturm und drang of ‘beyond the speed of light’ which seems to incorporate folk harmonies underneath the blistering guitar work and death-infused vocals. Frankly it’s hard to believe this band have only been going two years, such is the quality and power of the music, and it’s easy to imagine the band tearing festival audiences to pieces with their brutal yet melodic tracks. Next up is the title track which opens with deftly harmonized guitars and that epic sensibility which the band bring to bear upon each of their tracks. With a chugging riff overlaying the rich synth sounds, clean vocals appear here to offer further variety, and the band once again surprise with the sheer inventiveness of their music. Heading back into faster-paced pastures, ‘clarify’ has a vicious riff but, if there’s one complaint it is that the synth seems to overpower the guitar somewhat at the outset, although this balance is redressed as the song progresses. Nonetheless, the raw vocals and juddering riffs that abound threaten to induce spontaneous bouts of headbanging and the band keep things raw enough that the occasional synth swells do little to undermine the brutality too much. The EP ends with ‘beginning of the end’, another track that appears to overemphasize the synth, only for the band to unleash their most ferocious riff yet, ending the EP on a satisfyingly powerful note.
Melodic death metal is always a tricky one. Whilst, on the one hand, the synth parts bring much of the melody, on the other hand it is all-too-easy to raise them too high in the mix, overpowering the guitars in the process. For the most part Event Relentless have got the balance right, and the songs are rarely lost, but there are moments when you wish the relentless synth would be toned down just a touch. However, this is, for me, a common complaint with melodic death metal and not a specific criticism of Event Relentless. The songs here are musically excellent and frequently varied and the EP promises a bright future for the band, for certainly ‘cold black November’ is one hell of a ride.