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Relapsed - Into A Formal State (CD)

Into A Formal State
by Grigoris Chronis at 19 June 2006, 6:58 AM

This CD proved to be a good one. Even if the only reason I requested it for a review was the 'MTM Music' label logo in the back, I was a little bit let down by the band's name and musician's 'outlook'. “What the hell, will MTM sign to Lifeforce-dedicated Metalcore bands from now on? was my instant thought. Don't judge a book by the cover; the story goes on this time, too.
Never had a clue 'bout Relapsed. This is this band's debut effort, anyway. Still, let's move more than fifteen years back, to the roots of a band called Caught In The Act. Hailing from Denver, CO, USA this band got together by brothers Joe and Rob Marone. Two albums in the mid-90s plus a German-recorded live CD - opening for Pink Cream 69, then - were enough prior to changing their name to Guilt Of Ages. Two further albums - 1998's “One and 2001's “Citadel, both on MTM - came out and I start remembering the band touring with Hard Rock legends Axe in the late 90s; Axe guitarist Bobby Barth was also the band's producer at the time. Calling it quits in late 2001, it was not until 2003 that the Marone brothers - along with Guilt Of Ages vocalist Danny Martinez and newly added guitarist Brian Mesa - got back together again with the (now called) Relapsed moniker.
What a fine piece “Into A Former State is, I must say. First of all, the band develops a personal style through their songwriting mode. All tunes can easily be categorized as Melodic/Hard Rock ones, but Relapsed possess a special formula so as to stay away from the usual MTM/Forntiers/AOR Heaven etc typical stuff. Danny Martinez has a warm harmonic voice, simple yet ample, while the songs' melodies are 'looking' at both Hard Rock's glorious early 80s past and today's European technique. This 'blend' is the key point to Relapsed's personality, on first basis.
“Mercy Pays The Dept, “Generation, Somewhere We Belong and “End Of The Line blew my away, while no single tune is boring or disappointing. Brian Mesa does a great job with his powerful riffs and 'retro' leads, while the production of the album adds 'volume' to the melodic infrastructure of the songs, driving the sound to 'heavier' - relatively - paths. Not to forget, the Queen “I Want It All classic's cover is not something special, but - at least - is worth the try. You do not prevent yourself from 'butchering' Queen song everyday.
To be surprised by a band you did not know so far is - maybe - the most 'enchanting' factor for a 'witting' fan. Even if not pioneering, “Into A Former State deals with honest personality, true vision and individual consciousness on how to create your own music. This album is of good taste; happy I finally grabbed it.

3 Star Rating

Welcome To My Life
End Of The Line
The Other Side
Mercy Pays The Debt
All In All
I Want It All
Somewhere We Belong
Danny Martinez  - Vocals, Guitar
Brian Mesa - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Joe Marone - Bass, Vocals
Rob Marone - Drums
Record Label: MTM Music


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