June 16, 2015 The Relapse Symphony – Born To Burn (Album Review)
Formed in 2012, Washington, DC rockers The Relapse Symphony has quickly jumped to the forefront of the Alternative Rock-n-Roll scene. The band released their debut EP, Time’s Running Out, in December 2012, their first full-length album, Shadows, in July 2014, followed by an acoustic version of the latter in December of the same year. They have toured vigorously since then, sharing the stage with bands such as Black Veil Brides, William Control, Eyes Set To Kill, as well as The Dead Rabbitts, and will be on the 2015 Vans Warped Tour. With Bret Von Dehl (vocals), JC Charles (guitar), and Ray Miller (guitar), as well as recently departed Alex Foxx (drums), The Relapse Symphony is set to release their sophomore album, Born To Burn, on June 23rd via Standby Records.
Aptly titled “The Beginning,” the first track sets the tone for the rest of the album. This track is fully instrumental, but offers fast-paced beats and high energy riffs. As the name suggests, this is only the beginning. This intro gives way to “A Perfect Lie,” a heavy and hateful anti-love song, featuring both harsh and melodic vocal techniques. The next track, “Die Alone,” for which The Relapse Symphony released a video for on June 9th, is one of the strongest. It opens with a foot-tapping, head-banging riff and keeps that energy throughout. It is a Rock anthem if there ever was one: recurring riffs, raw emotion, untiring verve, and all. Its gritty verses are cut with a euphonic chorus, which generates a satisfying, well-rounded sound.
The chorus in the sixth track, “Dirty Little Tricks,” is not only upbeat, but extremely catchy. It is the type of melody that will get stuck in your head and stay there, but that is not necessarily a bad thing; the lyrics and tune are intricate enough to sing to yourself one hundred times over and never get bored. The intro to this track is very theatrical, but that theme was swallowed up once the verses kicked in, which was slightly disappointing. The next track, “Terror Generation,” is a prime example of a Punk Rock “fight the system” anthem. “Comatose” winds things down just a bit. The ardent lyrics present a type of vulnerability, which creates a distinct duality between strength and weakness. Von Dehl’s unique vocal techniques and overall grit adds an unconventional twist from the average. The raw emotion that he projects in his voice is fervent, and even more significant than on previous releases. Another standout aspect of the album are the guitar solos and riffs. Most notably in the tracks “Born To Burn,” “Die Alone,” and “Tear Me Down.”
It is clear that Born To Burn was created out of heartbreak and hatred, yet it manages to not invoke anger in the listener, which is an accomplishment in itself. It is too easy to transfer vexation from performer to audience, which can detract from the overall listening experience. Born To Burn elicits an energetic, thrillful response, which makes this record all the more exciting to hear. The Relapse Symphony has grown and evolved considerably since their previous release- not only in terms of recording quality (though that is definitely worth mentioning), but the band really refined their sound with this record. The Relapse Symphony is a high voltage Rock -n- Roll band that is not afraid to deviate from the highly-tread path. CrypticRock gives Born To Burn 4.5 out of 5 stars.