The first offering from the Trail of Dead since 1999’s Madonna, the Relative Ways EP shows a band further tempering an awesome penchant for violent energy with an unmistakable pop sensibility. Tracks: ‘Relative Ways’ gives us a mature, chiming guitar riff and the catchiest Trail of Dead song to date. ‘Homage’ hammer-switches between cathartic doomsday meltdown and build-up. Over before it’s begun, ‘Blood Rites’ clocks in under two minutes and is a standout track; a classic (and unforgettable) Trail of Dead blow-up. The EP closer, ‘The Blade Runner,’ is a beautiful pastiche of ambient experimentation and atonal string arrangements.