Multi-instrumentalist Matthew Konradt is quite possibly one of the most prolific artists out there right now. Less than a year since his last album, Through Confusion
, he's already back with his next Relentless Pursuit
album, Upward We March
. The Relentless Pursuit project has been a steady example of starting from the ground up; Konradt's earliest work, even back to Ascend the Soul, was riddled with production and songwriting issues. But as new music keeps coming out, the gradual increase in overall quality is apparent. While Upward We March
is still quite limited by the lower production value, not to mention some occasionally rough instrumentation and clean vocals, it certainly does have a lot of promise, and some intriguing song construction. "Wildfire" is a great example, as it uses different genres together to mesh metal riffs with delicate piano and synth. It almost reminds me of something I'd hear on Showbread's No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical
(not stylistically, per se, but in the way the song is so quick to shift from one genre to the next). "You're Still Saving Me" immediately follows with the same kind of attitude, though it gets a little heavier at certain times (Konradt's growls generally seem to lean more toward death/deathcore), and the instrumental "Crush" even utilizes dance and drum line-style beats with bits of techno and haunting symphonic elements to make it stand out from the rest of the tracklist. The back half is stronger, with some of Relentless Pursuit's best work yet, especially in "Illusion" and "To Persevere," the former of which sounds like the most complete, well-written song of Konradt's career thus far. It's been a pleasure to hear each new Relentless Pursuit release get better and better, and it should be clear to anyone else who has followed along that Upward We March
is yet another big leap forward.
- Review date: 8/15/23, written by Scott Fryberger
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JFH Staff's Second Opinion
is an indie metal artist that has been featured on JFH a few times now. During this time, Matthew Konradt has continued to progress in all aspects of his musical journey. Everything from instrumentation and vocals to production has all markedly improved. That's not to say that RP's latest full-length album, Upward We March
, is ready for major label release, but the improvement is encouraging to hear. As it has been in the past, the heavier moments from Relentless Pursuit sound the best. Vocally, Konradt's harsh vocals are better than his cleans and the heavy chugging is easier to lean into versus the more experimental softer songs and sections. For my money, "Illusion" is the best RP song to date. It's heavy, the growls fit perfectly, and the fast guitar lead is a nice addition to the chugging riffs. The techno/metal instrumental "Crush" is another notable track, along with the movie score-like "Sound of Paradise." There are still some production issues and some noticeable leveling differences from track to track, but overall, Upward We March
is promising. Konradt offers poignant messages, like found in "Entering the Pursuit," and has delivered his best sounding music to date. Fans of indie metal should give this one a listen. There are some good takeaway moments from this full-length effort that such fans will find enjoyable.
- Review date: 8/25/23, written by Michael Weaver