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Relevent

Listeners definitely shouldn't judge this CD by its cover, or its surface sonics. Despite their fondness for ghoulish get-ups and extreme-metal accoutrements, the members of Relevent are old-school moralists; in Display's liner notes, vocalist Angel begins by thanking "God and Jesus Christ." It's no surprise, then, that the material here regularly confronts injustice in its least holy forms.

"They" defends free will in the face of authority and ignorance, while the two-part title song plays like a face-off between a fed-up thrasher and the Antichrist. The band changes pace with "Return," an unexpectedly pensive meditation on regret, before unleashing a rain of riffs leading to "What Lies Inside," in which becoming "a friend to thee" represents the only possible respite from hopelessness. A pair of hidden tracks follow: an instrumental that dangles the prospect of grace, and a second number that snatches it back.

Prey or pray? Either way, it's a Relevent choice.


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