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  • Tiana Speter

EXCLUSIVE: The Kaleidoscopic Influences Behind Reliqa's Debut Album


 

There is something undeniably amazing in the water for Australian heavy music, and it's a fact that only seems to be exponentially growing with each passing year. From bands snagging support slots alongside some of the genre's all-time greats through to local bands exploding beyond the underground, the secret is well and truly out that we're growing and gifting some of the most exciting talent on the modern scene. And a band based in Sydney who are currently cultivating both eye-watering supports and exploding global attention are none other than Reliqa; a progressive metalcore quartet who have catapulted into 2024, signing with Greyscale Records and Nuclear Blast Records to bring their long-awaited debut album Secrets of the Future into the world.


First witnessing Reliqa live in action many moons ago in a support slot at Sydney's Factory Floor, there has always been something palpitating about this group, from the explosive command of vocalist Monique Pym through to the genuine connection between the four artists and their unique take on what it means to be a heavy band in a contemporary setting.


From ticking off performances over the years alongside the likes of BABYMETAL, Spiritbox and Halestorm, through to festival appearances and multiple releases, 2024 is shaping up to be the beginning of an insatiable new chapter in the Reliqa story. And with their eclectic and immersive debut full length due out on May 31, Reliqa's Monique Pym herself unpacks some of the stylistic secrets that helped to shape and evolve Secrets of the Future into a razor-sharp and futureproof collection of songs. Read on below!

 

BABYMETAL

Firstly, I want to honour the metallic, tech-y, modern side of things. There are a couple of bands for each of the little genre pockets on the album, and I want to mention BABYMETAL as one, especially their album The Other One which came out last year. That album came out at the perfect time because we were in the heart of writing our album. And when it came out, it was just hitting all the right boxes. I honestly think that that was a very tangible influence on Secrets of the Future. And it owes itself to this almost poppy but very, very modern, clean, crisp side of the album that we hit.



 

POETRY IN MOTION

I also want to honor the poetic and rap side of the album. I definitely did lean into some more poetic sites and streams of writing; and there are a couple of artists that I owe this to. I owe Doja Cat, Odette, and even Silent Planet are an interesting one to mention because they have this really cool integration of deep introspective lyrics, a fast-paced sort of thing; but still with a heavy backdrop. And that lends itself really well to us.



 

ENTERING THE FUTURE

I also want to hammer onto the dystopian and sci-fi elements, the future-leaning things. I know I already mentioned that "modern" sound, but here I'm talking more about the themes. Funnily enough, Silent Planet does cross over a little bit here, but there's also Enter Shikari, they have a really cool apocalyptic style of lyrics, and they're very tongue in cheek too, some of which we've paid a lot of respect to, especially lyrically. The lyrics were all me, but the music in general on the album is inspired by Enter Shikari. There's a song on our album, Keep Yourself Awake - that is Enter Shikari Central, and it's also very Miles [Knox]. I know that Miles is really inspired by Enter Shikari, so that's really cool to see it come to life.



 

SPIRITBOX

I also want to honor the melodic, atmospheric, almost shoe gaze-y, vibe-y stuff that we've woven through the album as well, through songs like Two Steps Apart, A Spark, Crossfire, those sort of softer leaning songs. I'd also add Sariah in here. And for that, I'll attribute a classic: Spiritbox. I know, I know. Is this a female-fronted metalcore band attributing Spiritbox to some of their work? Whoa, groundbreaking! It's like florals? For spring? Groundbreaking. But I owe a lot to Spiritbox, and particularly to their album Eternal Blue, and particularly the deep tracks on that album. Songs like The Summit and Eternal Blue, the title track, they are woven stylistically through us a lot. With Eternal Blue, it was the right album at the right time. It landed back in 2021, and I might've been late to the party listeneing to it when we actually started working on Secrets of the Future. But I was streaming it at the perfect time when I needed it for this album. And I owe a lot to that album. There are also other artists that I want to honour to that as well, and that would be Aurora and Deadlights. Ones you might not expect behind our music, but ones that mean a lot to me.



 

INTERSTELLAR

Lastly, I wanted to throw a little curve ball out there, and I want to honour some more of the content and the themes behind the album. And for that, I'm going to use a film: Interstellar, directed by Christopher Nolan, because of these notions of fear and terror and anger and desperation for where we're headed. But it's sort of blended with this reverence and hope and eagerness for where we're headed too. There's that sort of balancing out of these very human ways and things that we respond to about where we're headed to. That captures the entire essence of our album, because I've really just tried to hone in on fleeting moments of the human experience, and the emotional territory that we traverse as we make our way through this crazy floating rock in space.



 


RELIQA

Debut album Secrets of the Future is due out May 31

via Greyscale Records & Nuclear Blast records.

More info here.

 

BY TIANA SPETER


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