CD Review: Relief In Sleep - "Relief In Sleep" (Imminence Records)

Led by frontwoman Kara Dennis’ powerful and heartfelt vocals, Relief In Sleep’s eponymous entry balances the heavier side of rock with modern melodic metal (with a pop metal lean) akin to something of a hybrid of Eyes Set to Kill, Killswitch Engage and VersaEmerge. “Roulette” is a fine encapsulation of Relief In Sleep – a track that combines the picture perfect vocal interplay between Dennis and guitarist Justin Gregorio that wavers between high end cleans and guttural screams, laid atop a bed of stomping riffs and hammering drums at times awash in full on synth driven atmospherics. While Gregorio’s vocal contributions are certainly noteworthy in their own right, by far his best input to Relief In Sleep are his stunning leads, which sound plucked from the recording sessions of Killswitch Engage’s The End Of Heartache at times (“Forever,” “Sleepwalker,” “Gone Too Soon”). Chugging guitars, intense melody and stirring hooks run rampant up and down Relief In Sleep, providing more than enough ample opportunity to open up a circle pit (“The Rope,” “Tainted,” “Jumper”). All killer, no filler – no ballads, no bullshit and aside from “Intro,” Relief In Sleep doesn’t offer a break tohugh there are certain interludes during “Forever” and “Romance Cancer” which offer an ambient respite, but they don’t last long), which actually ends up doing more harm than good, but to its credit, Relief In Sleep effectively gets better as it goes along, as the last four tracks are arguably its finest moments. Fans of melodic metal need flock to Relief In Sleep, one of the more exciting pop metal entries you’ll come across anytime soon.

Grade: B

Go Download: “Roulette”