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Rezet – Truth In Between

Rezet
Truth In Between
by Max Elias at 04 January 2021, 7:53 PM

Germany’s REZET sure are prolific. Since they landed on the THRASH METAL scene they’ve been busting skulls and cracking necks with a new album every two years or so; the last one came in 2019, so they’re ahead of schedule with TRUTH IN BETWEEN. They’ve also historically been one of the sharpest bands around, with strident, driving rhythms and smoldering licks aplenty, carving out their territory as both THRASH METAL experts and as a band unafraid of exploration. One thing I’ve always appreciated about REZET—because yes, I have been a fan for a while—is the vocals, equally so on this album. They are definitely aggressive (this is thrash after all), but they are also crystal clear; this is a rare balance to strike that doesn’t happen as much now as it used to in bands like METALLICA, ANTHRAX, or DEATH ANGEL. The album starts off strong with “Back For No Good”, which boasts seething, cutting riffs and aerodynamic lead playing, and the gang vocal section before the main solo is a nice attention-getter.

The band embraces the melodic potential of their subgenre on songs like “Deceived By Paradise”, where lead breaks interject themselves between the verses, and specifically the pre-chorus is buoyed by a dancing open-string melody. Much of the album feels like it has slowed down compared to past releases, perhaps to accommodate this greater focus on melody; but the heavy thrash atmosphere is present, and the band can still comfortably segue into higher tempos when the moment calls for it, such as during the solo on “Populate. Delete. Repeat”. It also feels like the vocals have assumed a position of greater prominence, because a lot of the riffing seems more stripped-down and less technical.

The watered-down riffs that mostly are little more than muted galloping are disappointing to me. I understand that there’s a tradeoff that happens between vocals and the rest of the instrumentation where emphasis on one detracts from the other (i.e. why there’s no point trying to sing like Bruce Dickinson on an ARCHSPIRE song); but it does feel a little like the band got lazy.

Earlier I mentioned how REZET is not loathe to experiment, and on that note, let’s talk about “Infinite End”. It’s a power ballad characterized by long, shimmering notes in the clean sections and gentle distorted power chords during the choruses. It shows off vocalist Ricky Wagner’s undoubtedly impressive singing chops, establishing him as something kind of like a German Mark Osegueda that can let loose venomous shrieks as well as mournful crooning. “Infinite End” is a good power ballad, but it’s also a standard power ballad; there’s no smoking guitar solo, no proggy breakdowns, nothing like that. Another example of how they push boundaries is “I’m Not Gonna Stop”. Just from the title alone, I’d expect to find this song on an AC/DC album; and hearing it makes you question if you accidentally changed bands. It’s the same voice, that’s unmistakable, but the riffs are so much more arena rock than they are metal, and the lyrics are classic rock’n’roll cannon fodder.

The title track is an excellent fusion of all the album’s characteristics. There are plenty of solid melodies spicing up the midtempo chugging, and the vocals are as always stunning. The short spoken word thing is a little strange, but that’s a matter of taste. “Truth In Between” stands out to me as one of the better songs on the album. And afterwards, the adrenaline increases with “Jailpit”, which falls under the raunchier, angrier side of THRASH METAL. The chorus is catchy and would make for a perfect moment live, with the audience all screaming along. I’m also a big fan of the solo on this song, short as it is.

It’s a running theme of this review that I praise the vocals whenever possible, and I am doing so again on “The Plague”, where for the first time the vocals get deep and gravelly during the verses. Yet the retain the edge of Wagner’s voice and its clarity as well. Other instruments shine in other ways and at other points in the album; the fluttering drumrolls at the beginning of “(Un) certain Crimes” are a perfect prelude to a roaring, lightning-fast riff festival—which the rest of the song does not totally become, although it gets closer than it falls short. The breakdown after the chorus that introduces the solo also features some impressive percussion work. The main riff of the song is bouncy and snarly with its sliding power chords. Another guitar moment that shows a band heading in a softer direction is the melodic call-and-response between vocals and guitar on “Never Satisfied”; and the soaring lead on top of the clean interlude is a tasteful prelude to the shreddier solo as the song heats back up.

The album ends with a throwback to the old REZET; a faster, harder sonic bombardment in the form of “The Last Suffer”. The whammy bar tricks, pounding double bass, and tightly controlled riffing show that REZET still knows how to thrash with abandon if they choose to. And they combine this aggression with big, melodic choruses anyone could sing along to.

Truth In Between is a decent album with some great songs but a lot of filler. The slower riffing is often fairly generic and predictable, maybe to give the vocals more room to shine, maybe because the band is running low on ideas. There are nice melodies that accompany and enhance songs like “Deceived by Paradise” and “Never Satisfied”, and the soloing is strong when it happens. The vocals are great, and consistently so, but not so great that they distract from the lackluster riffs and rhythms that I know are beneath what REZET is capable of.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Back For No Good
  2. Deceived By Paradise
  3. Populate. Delete. Repeat
  4. Renegade
  5. Half A Century (feat. Sonia Anubis)
  6. Infinite End
  7. Truth In Between
  8. Jailpit
  9. I’m Not Gonna Stop
  10. The Plague
  11. (Un) certain Crimes
  12. Never Satisfied
  13. The Last Suffer
Lineup:
Ricky Wagner – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Bastien Santen – Drums
Heiko Musolf – Guitar
Bjarne Otto – Bass
Record Label: Metalville
     


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