Tides bring in Reliqa

Reliqa's watery world, <em>Eventide</em>. Australian quartet Reliqa is breaking into the metal scene. Released on November 9, 2018, <em>Eventide</em> is Reliqa's first full length album.

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Reliqa's watery world, Eventide. Australian quartet Reliqa is breaking into the metal scene. Released on November 9, 2018, Eventide is Reliqa's first full length album.

Brantley Jenkins, Columns Editor

A new name is emerging in the hard rock scene, and its name is Reliqa. The Australian metal quartet, led by extremely powerful vocals from Monique Pym, is creating a new world to call their own. They use aggressive piano and guitar riffs to convey complex stories to listeners. After an EP (Extended Production) titled Afterlight, Reliqa embarked on a journey to create a full-length album. Eventide is the end result. 

Reliqa’s first full-length album is an experience unlike anything I have ever heard. Packed with existential quotes and piano riffs that fade into epic guitar lines, Eventide is a one of a kind album. Once the album starts, a new world instantly comes to life. A world that feels as if it is in an ocean cave. This album screams “ocean cave metal.”

Opening with a resounding piano line, the first song, “Hangman,” takes listeners into a world made exclusively for Reliqa. Guitars come in creating a full world ready for vocals to take control. Monique Pym’s strong, confident voice picks up singing about how life is hanging on the edge of justice. Reliqa’s created world has become full of anarchic corruption and destruction. 

Calmly ringing guitars open the stage for Pym’s powerful voice to take control of the second song. “Into Fire” tells a story of a person that should have given up but never did; the main character then goes on to light the world up. The main character of “Into Fire” changes the world on their own. The second chorus segues into an instrumental bridge full of raw guitars and crashing cymbals. “Into Fire” ends with an echoing guitar chord that rings out into the opening of the next song.

A singular piano is the only thing playing at the beginning of “The Halfway Point.” Guitars and drums jump in bringing the song to its first chorus. “The Halfway Point” is Reliqa’s most known song and the song that brought them to my attention. Even though Reliqa has one guitar player, two specific guitars play throughout the song. One guitar holds a steady, heavy rhythm while the other plays the opening piano line. The song that truly showcases what Reliqa is all about, “The Halfway Point”, shows off their deep existential lyrics, powerful piano and guitar solos, and highlights Pym’s powerful voice. 

The next track opens with an odd-sounding pipe instrument; these pipes lead into a guitar solo layered on expertly. The solo evolves into a heavy metal guitar line. “Golden Age” is a song without lyrics focused on the instrumentation that Reliqa possesses. Each instrument has its own solo, guitar, bass, drums, and piano. Just as soon as the song begins, it fades out.

The fade leads into a singular kick drum beat. “Golden Age” segues into “E.O.D.” without a hint of change. Much like the previous song, “E.O.D.” is a guitar and drum-heavy song. After the chaos of the chorus, the bridge becomes a calm piano partnered with bass and drums. The bridge takes “E.O.D.” all the way to the next song on Eventide.

“Earthbound” begins with a single note on piano played repeatedly. Following the focus on guitar and drums, “Earthbound” turns around to focus solely on piano and vocals. This song is one of the most lyrically elaborate songs that I’ve ever heard. The song brings Reliqa’s world back to Earth.

Despite the calmness of “Earthbound,” “Doomed” starts with an aggressive guitar riff but quickly evolves into chaos. The guitar in “Doomed” is so aggressive and heavy; it sounds like a drumbeat. Much like the name suggests, “Doomed” is not a positive song. The lyrics are about an internal fight inside one’s head. They acknowledge the confusion between reasons that seem correct but are illogical. This song ends the same way it begins, with a guitar.

There is no pause before the next track jumps into full gear. “Deja Vu” is extremely aggressive at first, but calms down when lyrics come in. The song holds a bass solo that none of the other songs can compete with. “Deja Vu” seems to be about a relationship that is one-sided and continues crawling back to existence. 

Overall, Reliqa is bringing a new feel to metal genres and leading an underground charge towards a new age of metal. The Australians have created an album full of corrupted lyrics, philosophical lines, powerful pianos, and crashing guitars. Personally, I cannot wait to see what Reliqa brings to the table next.