Relationship Of Command

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 126 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 126

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  1. Aug 21, 2012
    10
    Arguably one of the most important post-hardcore albums in the history of the genre. What Bixler, Rodriguez and Co accomplished here is a true triumph. They managed to make an album that was accessible enough to bring people into the fold of post-hardcore, while still maintaining credibility among the stalwart fans of the genre through urgency, songwriting prowess and phenomenalArguably one of the most important post-hardcore albums in the history of the genre. What Bixler, Rodriguez and Co accomplished here is a true triumph. They managed to make an album that was accessible enough to bring people into the fold of post-hardcore, while still maintaining credibility among the stalwart fans of the genre through urgency, songwriting prowess and phenomenal instrumentation. Even Bixler's voice, that initially might take some getting used to, quickly becomes one of the best parts of this breathtaking album after a few listens. Expand
  2. Dec 15, 2010
    10
    This is one of my favorite rock albums. It's utterly amazing. The vocals are some of the best I've ever heard and the musicianship is incredible. "Pattern Against User" is one of my favorite songs of all time. All In All, One of my favorite albums. A
  3. DaveM
    Sep 23, 2004
    7
    A good enough album, but somehow it pales in comparison to the musical masterpiece that is De-Loused In The Comatorium by The Mars Volta. However, you can certainly hear some of Cedric and Omar's brilliance in this album, and it is an album I quite happily play on a regular basis.
  4. SonyaH.
    Jan 1, 2002
    10
    This is one of the best albums I've gotten my hands on! It's emotional, raw, and haunting at times. That's good music!
  5. ZackZ
    Mar 5, 2005
    10
    Give it a couple listens, but eventually you will appreciate this amazing album. Intense abrasive vocals and atypical riffs scare away most, but if you give this album a chance you will fall in love with it. Full of great themes and compelling, superb music. Why did they break up???????????
  6. samt
    Sep 3, 2005
    10
    GREATEST emocore cd off alltime? Ohhhhhh i think so
  7. TonyL
    Oct 7, 2002
    10
    This album has changed the way I look at music, it has changed the way I play the bass, and it has changed the way I write. Everysong on this album is just as good as the next, if not better.
  8. GregL.
    Apr 18, 2002
    10
    In a time when most punk is pop ripoff, these guys are indeed the cheese who stand alone. Get this and their other CD in/casio/out (ALSO A 10) for a reason to love music again.
  9. hinkymano
    Aug 31, 2002
    10
    Truly stunning, a brilliant mixture of unpredicatability and vocal chord strain. Greta Afros too
  10. Tomm
    Nov 20, 2003
    10
    Abosoluty the best cd of all time and the greatest band that will ever form.
  11. Chris
    Mar 2, 2003
    10
    This cd is absolutley captivating, unlike many cd's these days. It has contrast from start to finish. I didn't find myself listening to the single the whole time because the whole rest of the cd was there. I became addicted the "Cosmonaut". Too bad they're not around anymore, but the good new's is that theres 2 new bands. The Mars Volta, and Sparta. I wouldn't This cd is absolutley captivating, unlike many cd's these days. It has contrast from start to finish. I didn't find myself listening to the single the whole time because the whole rest of the cd was there. I became addicted the "Cosmonaut". Too bad they're not around anymore, but the good new's is that theres 2 new bands. The Mars Volta, and Sparta. I wouldn't call At the Drive-In "emo" just good music Expand
  12. JorgeB
    Sep 6, 2003
    10
    bad ass cd!
  13. DaveR
    Oct 15, 2004
    10
    Top marks dude! Omar & Cedric just make this album totally special, one of my fave albums!
  14. PaulH
    Jan 10, 2004
    10
    From the very opening track 'arcarsenal' you just know this album is different to all the others in its genre. The anger merged with beauty combo from 'arcarsenal' continues throughout the album, with the fantasic 'one armed scissor' and the quite unbelieveable 'cosmonaut'. Unlike Cedric's new band, The Mars Volta, there's less emotional From the very opening track 'arcarsenal' you just know this album is different to all the others in its genre. The anger merged with beauty combo from 'arcarsenal' continues throughout the album, with the fantasic 'one armed scissor' and the quite unbelieveable 'cosmonaut'. Unlike Cedric's new band, The Mars Volta, there's less emotional drive to the album, but it still comes up with the very moving 'Invalid Litter Dept.' - a song written about the treatment of mexican women and how the police and media don't really care. I'd say my personal favourite track is 'Pattern Against User' a strange choice but its a song i find myself singing to myself most of the time. If ever an album deserved 10/10, this one gets it. A marvellous record, and it gives an insight into the genius that was, At The Drive-In. Expand
  15. MattB
    Jun 2, 2004
    10
    Truly fantastic album...band reminds me of Disaster Strikes, probably the greatest anarcho-punk band.
  16. seanm
    Jul 10, 2004
    10
    this is truly a remarkable album. These guys are really just an amazing band. PLEASE if you haven't heard atdi you must, must, must get this cd. If you have heard them then i already know you have this cd.
  17. John
    Aug 18, 2004
    10
    a perfect album
  18. JR
    Sep 10, 2004
    10
    This is my favorite CD. Ever. At the Drive-In is amazing.
  19. ChrisR
    Sep 23, 2004
    10
    Fantastic!! pattern against user is one of the best songs ive ever herd that hasn't been released!!
  20. ChrisD
    Feb 10, 2005
    9
    Maybe a little more variety would perfect the album, but it's undoubtedly irreplacable in style and sound. In a way, the forced restriction of Omar/Cedric's meandering impulses makes it work; TMV are fantastic in their own right, but here the restriction makes the songs' seams burst with fury and ideas. A one-off classic, effortlessly surpassing the worthless Maybe a little more variety would perfect the album, but it's undoubtedly irreplacable in style and sound. In a way, the forced restriction of Omar/Cedric's meandering impulses makes it work; TMV are fantastic in their own right, but here the restriction makes the songs' seams burst with fury and ideas. A one-off classic, effortlessly surpassing the worthless post-genre-core-wave movements since. Expand
  21. Matt
    Mar 3, 2005
    8
    Excellent album; a little uneven and certainly overshadowed by TMV, but a little rawer and more punkish.
  22. DeezerD
    Jun 11, 2006
    10
    Probably one of the greatest rock albums ever recorded, in my opinion.
  23. TashaP
    Jul 2, 2006
    10
    Definatelyone of the greatest almbums. a shame they had to break-up. Sparta just doesn't have the passion that they did.
  24. DavidF.
    Dec 5, 2007
    9
    Surprised the Metacritic score isn't higher.
  25. nrvs
    Feb 20, 2007
    10
    Superb, utterly flawless album. One of the most important steps in the evolution of rock music. Probably one of the biggest dissapointments of my life that they couldn't put together another two albums before breaking up. Pity Mars Volta sucks so much ass.
  26. fionnk
    Apr 27, 2009
    10
    One of the last bands that had something to say and the music was un-edged as if fighting for it life to be played
  27. eEric
    Sep 27, 2002
    10
    Walking out of the dark woods...i see a light in the distance...that light is my guide...that light is my hope...that light is my future...that light is...AT THE DRIVE IN!
  28. JahcelG
    Sep 24, 2003
    10
    This album makes me proud to be a native of the state of Texas (Since the band came from El Paso). It's pretty refreshing to hear a different vibe of music with unbelieve creativity and futuristic visions of what rock can be if you follow you're own pathway in the music business. I've learned so much form "Relationship Of Command". I don't like the fact that the band This album makes me proud to be a native of the state of Texas (Since the band came from El Paso). It's pretty refreshing to hear a different vibe of music with unbelieve creativity and futuristic visions of what rock can be if you follow you're own pathway in the music business. I've learned so much form "Relationship Of Command". I don't like the fact that the band split in to 2 groups but that's just more room for them to create great music. Hopefully there will be another at the drive-in down the road in our future. At the Drive-In are my favorite group of all-time!!!! Expand
  29. plukkfisk
    Sep 25, 2003
    10
    This is probably the most intense album in the history of music. It's fucking excellent.
  30. BrokenL
    Nov 1, 2004
    10
    It really is just too good. Honestly, I'm suprised it ever caught on, this just seems like a band that should go over everybody's head.
  31. HenryB
    Dec 2, 2004
    10
    Perfect, the brilliance that made The Mars Volta applied to a more standard "rock band" format creates a individual and interesting sound that hold the raw aggression missing in TMV. One of my favorite albums of all time.
  32. natef
    Dec 7, 2004
    8
    its an 8 for the simple fact that Deloused In The Comatorium just overshadows it in musical capabilities of Omar and Cedric. The thoughts going through the minds of those two due glimmer in this album, but dont blossum until DITC.
  33. patricko
    Oct 4, 2004
    10
    this cd is awesome! much better than the others it sucks ATDI borke up but the mars volta are fuckin awesome so its cool
  34. BenL
    Jun 18, 2004
    10
    If I could give it an 11 or 12 I would. Heck I would probably gie it a ! Million out of 10 if that was possible. There is just not enough one can say about the greatness of this band and of this CD. They have little moments of subtlty that really help out when it gets to the energized areas of the songs. This is an album that I can sit down and listen to and never get bored with the If I could give it an 11 or 12 I would. Heck I would probably gie it a ! Million out of 10 if that was possible. There is just not enough one can say about the greatness of this band and of this CD. They have little moments of subtlty that really help out when it gets to the energized areas of the songs. This is an album that I can sit down and listen to and never get bored with the songs. Everytime I listen I can almost feel ATDI's energy being driven into me through my headphones, making me want to yell, kick, scream, and break things. An utterly and completely beautiful album that, in my opinion, will be remembered as a classic in years to come. Expand
  35. DamianP
    Aug 17, 2004
    10
    My all time favourite driving CD. After more than 3 years, I still love this album.
  36. ShahirS
    Aug 6, 2004
    10
    Fantastic.
  37. SamT'SDad
    Oct 11, 2005
    10
    At the Drive in is not EMo! Its art rock!
  38. NickW
    Oct 16, 2005
    10
    I was introduced to this by my 17 year old son yesterday. I am 50 I amtotally totally blown away by it. IT IS A MASTERPIECE. I am lost for words. IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERSTATE HOW BRILLIANT THIS ALBUM IS.
  39. Zac
    Mar 23, 2005
    10
    Great, great album. I discovered this album after listening to TMV for a while. Its so amazing to see how Omar and Cedric have evolved so greatly as musicians in between this one and Deloused. Two very distinct sounds, but both great. I wish that Relationship could've had some greater variety though. As mentioned earlier, the vocals may turn some people off, but everything as a whole Great, great album. I discovered this album after listening to TMV for a while. Its so amazing to see how Omar and Cedric have evolved so greatly as musicians in between this one and Deloused. Two very distinct sounds, but both great. I wish that Relationship could've had some greater variety though. As mentioned earlier, the vocals may turn some people off, but everything as a whole on Relationship is pure genius. Expand
  40. NofsGrrrl
    Jun 21, 2005
    9
    It is unwise to compare this album to Mars Volta, because they are two TOTALLY different bands! Thus the reason for the split... With that out of the way... This album is one I pop into the CD player and thoroughly enjoy from start to finish. Great teeth grinding rock that captures something that most rock bands haven't even heard of. That rare working combination of rawness, It is unwise to compare this album to Mars Volta, because they are two TOTALLY different bands! Thus the reason for the split... With that out of the way... This album is one I pop into the CD player and thoroughly enjoy from start to finish. Great teeth grinding rock that captures something that most rock bands haven't even heard of. That rare working combination of rawness, sing-song, and oddity. I was sad when they broke up, but out of that came Mars Volta which kicks unspeakable @$$. And ATDI left on the best note possible, Relationship of Command, which will be recognized, when we are old farts, as the best punk album of the turn of the milennium. Expand
  41. BobbyF
    Aug 2, 2005
    10
    Underrated upon release and a thousand times more soulful than anything TMV will ever produce. When Cedric goes insane and screams 'CHIKALALAKILAKAYAYAYAYA!!!!' after that intense buildup on Cosmonaut... just wow.
  42. AidanK
    Aug 25, 2005
    10
    This album is just brilliant one of the best albums i've ever heard, and 'invalid litter dept' is just magnificent
  43. [Anonymous]
    Sep 1, 2005
    10
    After hearing Relationship Of Command, I now compare all similar music I hear to At The Drive-In. There's absolutely no filler here, though it could use a little more variety. Seriously, though, this album changed how I see music. I'm afraid I can't wish they hadn't split up--TMV is one of my favorite all time bands. oh, and i agree with After hearing Relationship Of Command, I now compare all similar music I hear to At The Drive-In. There's absolutely no filler here, though it could use a little more variety. Seriously, though, this album changed how I see music. I'm afraid I can't wish they hadn't split up--TMV is one of my favorite all time bands. oh, and i agree with Bobby-'CHIKALALAKILAKAYAYAYAYA!!!!' is my favorite moment on the album. Expand
  44. TomC
    Jun 2, 2006
    10
    Easily one of my favorite albums ever. The low rating on here is sad indeed.
  45. CharlesH.
    Jan 16, 2002
    9
    ATDI's murderous assaults prove that rock can be angry and edgy while also maintaining intelligence. Soulful, scary, unpredictable, one of 2000's greatest triumphs.
  46. wills
    Jun 28, 2003
    10
    this is a pretty incredible CD full of depth. every track is better than the next. amazing.
  47. MarkH
    Oct 14, 2004
    10
    Great album. the absolute pinnacle of rock. But, In/Casino/Out is better.
  48. KevK
    Dec 14, 2004
    10
    this album is one of the best i have ever heard. I heard it on a school coach trip around europe and its no exaggeration to say that it changed my life. And whoever thinks that the mars volta are better, they obviously aren't listening to the same record. Deloused is completely pretentious and has about 3 good songs. All of At the drive-ins albums, including the underated acrobatic this album is one of the best i have ever heard. I heard it on a school coach trip around europe and its no exaggeration to say that it changed my life. And whoever thinks that the mars volta are better, they obviously aren't listening to the same record. Deloused is completely pretentious and has about 3 good songs. All of At the drive-ins albums, including the underated acrobatic tenement are far, far better than deloused... Expand
  49. NickM
    Dec 29, 2004
    10
    I give this a 10 out of 10 because this is probably their best Album ever
  50. gffg
    Jul 13, 2004
    10
    shit yea
  51. TimE
    Nov 8, 2005
    8
    Who in the blue hell are AFI, the Used, Dashboard Confessional, Story of the Year and Taking Back Sunday? What nerve these posers have even thinking they could match up to the God's of all things emo. If Coachella doesn't get these guys back together soon than there's no way they can consider themselves groundbreaking.
  52. Potsos
    Jan 31, 2005
    10
    From the ashes of At The Drive-In have come an excellent band (Sparta) and an otherwordly mindfuck of latin/prog bombast (Mars Volta). Not bad. How good is Relationship of Command? At it's best, it's fucking incredible. At its worst, RoC wipes its ass with any other emo-core pretender that dares to sit in the same room with these guys. If you've never heard a prog/punk From the ashes of At The Drive-In have come an excellent band (Sparta) and an otherwordly mindfuck of latin/prog bombast (Mars Volta). Not bad. How good is Relationship of Command? At it's best, it's fucking incredible. At its worst, RoC wipes its ass with any other emo-core pretender that dares to sit in the same room with these guys. If you've never heard a prog/punk band, you're not alone -- it doesn't exist. But the closest thing to it is ATDI, the most important band of the last ten years. Expand
  53. GlennM
    Aug 27, 2005
    10
    Awsome and better than The Mars Volta, sucks that they stopped being at the drive in.
  54. MichaelM
    Nov 12, 2006
    10
    Best album Ive ever heard.Full Stop
  55. TMW
    Aug 19, 2006
    10
    The best hardcore album ever recorded. you just need to listen to it a couple times to understand. and im sad and happy that atdi broke up cause The Mars Volta are mind bobbling.
  56. lolrofllmao0.o
    Apr 22, 2007
    10
    What an album. What a band.
  57. j30
    Sep 28, 2011
    9
    A punk/rock record that'll kick your teeth in. This is just a great LP from the boys down in Austin. Understandably the precursor to Mars Volta's De-loused In the Comatorium. I can't recommend this enough.
  58. Sep 11, 2014
    10
    Relationship of Command, At the Drive-In's last album, is by far their best. It's heavier, it's melodies and bass/guitar riffs are incredible, the musical variety is brilliant, and Cedric's voice is a lot better than in previous albums. Furthermore; it's got unrelenting musicality, and the guitar, bass and drums blend exceptionally, creating a rocking crescendo of mad noise, worked into anRelationship of Command, At the Drive-In's last album, is by far their best. It's heavier, it's melodies and bass/guitar riffs are incredible, the musical variety is brilliant, and Cedric's voice is a lot better than in previous albums. Furthermore; it's got unrelenting musicality, and the guitar, bass and drums blend exceptionally, creating a rocking crescendo of mad noise, worked into an unbelievably awesome composition: with Cedric screaming over the top of it all, it meshes into the perfect punk rock music.

    However, their are a few minor things that I didn't particularly like; for instance, the background singing and some of Cedric's singing is still out of tune. But, while I wrote that, I heard an incomprehensibly awesome part of 'Invalid Litter Department' (probably the best song on the album), so don't take those criticisms seriously, because I was just completely awesomed out.

    Another note is that the band members clearly have a sense of humor, and have probably taken lots of drugs; this adds to the hypnagogic and mad feel to the album.

    The album is improved by the progression and the relentlessness of it; it's like if you got past At the Drive-In and mixed it with The Mars Volta and August Burns Red.

    The surreality of the album, the perfect length of it and the memorability of the album make Relationship of Command a punk rock masterpiece (in it's own right as good as The Mars Volta's 'De-Loused in the Comatorium').

    So I give it a 9.8/10. One of the best albums I've ever heard.

    P.S. The best songs are 'Mannequin Republic' and 'Invalid Letter Department' (as I mentioned).
    Expand
  59. Mar 4, 2013
    10
    This is one of my favorite records of all time. In my top ten at least. One of the most energetic and forward-looking recordings to ever see daylight. While The Mars Volta was a good band, none of their albums will ever reach this level of excitement and intensity.
  60. Apr 10, 2017
    10
    perfect
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  61. Feb 21, 2017
    10
    It's been 16 years and it's still as powerful as it was the first time i heard it. Few albums reach this level of musical accomplishement.

    Chef d'oeuvre!
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. The album's only weakness is its awful track sequence. At times it can be uncomfortable to listen to. The songs don't seem to fit together in the order they have been laid out for the listener.
  2. ATDI's latest album has its amps cranked to the hilt from start to finish. Far from being another in a long line of sanitised American punk rock albums, 'Relationship Of Command' sounds REAL.
  3. The music roars along, occasionally slowing to build tension, then letting loose with a corrosive guitar assault.