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(40:30, Musica Records)
RELICTS, hailing from the former USSR republic of Turkmenistan, has a history going back to 1998 and a heavy metal/thrash metal band called Relic at that point in time. Following the release of their first two albums they revised the band name to Relicts, and released their third CD "12 on the Richter Scale" through the Russian label Musical Productions towards the end of 2008. There are basically four different aspects to this output. There's the odd one out, Stratosphere, basically an ambient, cosmic excursion that shifts towards an ethnic, world music sound towards the end. Another singular entity is the title track 12 on the Richter Scale, which basically blends the ethnic/world music flavors with thrash metal in a brief, instrumental affair. The two additional sides to this band share the rest of this production fairly equally: on one hand, we have compositions moving back and forth between intense thrash metal and old school death metal, with ethnic escapades used as intermissions and detours. On the other hand, we have creations that skip the ethnic flavors altogether, focusing on pairing off intense, but melodic thrash metal with old school death metal. All in all, an interesting album that comes across as rather intriguing at their best, but perhaps a tad too bland when not firing on all cylinders. If you enjoy some of the more intense thrash metal bands from yesteryear and also have a soft spot for old school death metal, this band is worth checking out, especially if you find the notion of ethnic folk music tossed into such a brew now and then.
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