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Second Relation are a young Austrian quintet consisting of Bastian Berchtold on vocals, bass and cello, Daniel Fleps (keys and vocals), Simon Gstohl and Julian Nachbauer on guitar and drummer Michael Simic. Despite their tender years (each member of the band is in their early twenties), ‘Eno’ is the band’s third album release, the previous two being released to rave reviews (their debut, ‘Lynette’, was awarded demo of the month in Metal Hammer).

The album, a concept based around the female of the title, contains ten tracks of jazzy and funky prog with complex song structures and soaringly glorious harmonies. The first and title track is probably the standout on the release (although the majority of the others aren’t far behind) with its initially soulful keys, underpinned by riffing guitars fairly low in the mix and the aforementioned harmonies which are simply stunning, before it gathers momentum, the drums and guitars become more prominent and the tempo accelerates without losing any of its impressive melody.

As previously mentioned, every track on this release is of a very high standard. To give a further couple of examples, ‘Canvas, Colour, Comfort’ is a sublime track with its strong keyboard intro and passages where guitar and keys vie with each other for dominance which, when coupled with Berchtold’s vocals, are reminiscent of Faith No More. ‘Second Hand Life’ is the album closer, and one of the heavier tracks on the album, and features a storming outro where harmonies, drums, keys and guitars come together in a fittingly stirring climax.

It is hard to believe that five guys of such a young age can produce music of such complexity, skill and quality. It may not be to every metalhead’s taste as, as stated above, there is a large element of funk and jazz in the fabric of this album (a similarity in places to Level 42 can be discerned), but anyone with a mind that is open to wider musical experiences cannot fail to be hugely impressed by this release.
Long Branch Records/SPV
Review by Dave Uphill
23rd Sept 2016
1) Eno
2) Labyrinth
3) White Mirror
4) The Essence of the City
5) Canvas, Color, Comfort
6) Rebirth
7) Countless Damages
8) Familiar Surroundings
9) Any Direction
10) Second Hand Life
"... ten tracks of jazzy and funky prog with complex song structures and soaringly glorious harmonies."