Relenter: Through the Mirror

Relenter
Through the Mirror
(Self-Released)

On Through the Mirror, Relenter relies on a heavy emphasis on composition, taking songs with orchestrated heights of production and instrumentation for a three-piece. Even in the flickering immediacy of “The Finest Thread,” the album’s opener is an electro-rock pulse of heavy drumming, staccato keys, and angling guitar hooks. The band adds an overlay of choral bells with string arrangement to intensify the song’s blinding pace. “Bombshell” complements a wash of guitars and stormy ride cymbals with synthetic bass and an overtone of atmospherics – a song for midnight halogen streetlamps and empty sidewalks.

In the song “Scarred,” the band takes one keyboard phrase at the opening and permutates it, shaping and changing a motif to create these memorable passages that you carry with you. Similarly, at one point in the song “So Inclined,” marcato string samples, piano, cymbals, and hi-hats are on high; guitar and synthesizer in the midtones; and drums in the lower registry. “Strange” soars with flaring synth brass and staggering guitars. Impacting the song is layered vocals between Chris Parker and Robert Martz to sing both flat and sharp, acting as both the carrier and the signal. The album ends with an acoustic version of “Strange” as well as the ballad “I Said to Her,” which highlight the band’s desire to incorporate everything from wooden drums, violin and piano into existing songs.

Drawing from both Robert Smith as well as Rob Orzabol, Relenter is impressively produced synth-rock that resounds alongside darkwave and other elements of the goth/industrial scene.