Hampshire, to us Northern monkeys at least, has a perceived reputation for green rolling countryside and lovely quiet coastal walks to be enjoyed by the good genteel denizens of the county.
Boy! How they must love this little lot disturbing the balance!
RUINS OF EARTH are a melodic thrash / metal band with an ability to effortlessly fuse the seemingly two disparate ends of the musical scale – melody & harmony, with deathcore.
Yeah – it may indeed seem a bit of a contradiction in terms, but it does actually work and by doing so each of these four tracks will not be exclusively enjoyed by hardcore metal fans alone … although I would suggest that perhaps fans of Lady Gaga types may have a little difficulty digesting ‘Misguided Lifeforms.’
The EP opens with the longest of the four tracks, which at just short of five minutes is about right for this type of music. It’s long enough to ‘get into,’ but not so long that it becomes tedious and monotonous. I would have to concede that this is not my favourite track and would personally have given the ‘honour’ to ‘Become Inhuman,’ but it never-the-less sets the template for much of what follows: growled and grunted vocals from the depths of hell (well, deep in the back of the throat at least) are traded off with a more shrieked, sreamo style (reminding me at times of anarcho-skacore punks Leftover Crack) while the guitars are shredded in heavy dramatic style at the back of it all.
‘The Wait’ is a mid-tempo instrumental. It’s kind of dark and moody with periods of chugging guitar forcing some quietly shouted and echoed incoherent shouts way down into the bowels of the record. It seems to be in two parts this one, with a complete but temporary ‘stop’ about two and a half minutes in, which precedes a final minute and a half of slow riffs and the sound of what could be falling rain (?)
As I’ve already alluded to, ‘Become Inhuman’ is my favourite – perhaps because it again reminds me of Leftover Crack? Possibly. Whatever, there’s a more conventional structure about this song it would seem, with the growls and shrieks taking alternative leads and joining together in albeit a weird sounding harmony. You almost feel as if this shouldn’t work but does! And once again, as with all four tracks, the musical backing is neither overbearing nor self-indulgent. It just gets the job done (not quietly) but in an efficient and balanced manner. (That maybe sounds like I’m playing it down – not at all. It all marries in so well with the vocals. There are some bands where it almost seems like the guys playing the instruments are vying with the vocalists for attention. But not here. It simply sounds ‘together.’ Ach! You know what I’m getting at.)
Final track ‘An Unreal Entity’ is more of the same really. Another excellent track, loud, frantic and sweaty! But while I still really enjoy this one, perhaps my attention span is beginning to wane, for apart from the guitar solos, the track doesn’t strike me as being any different – whereas the other three all had something by which to distinguish them.
It will however remain on my I-pod together with the other three tracks and will no doubt be played plenty over the coming months.
You know – sometimes this type of Metal is simply not given a chance by any other than genre aficionados and is too easily dismissed by others with blinkered attitudes to music. I accept that some extreme music is difficult to embrace, but I genuinely feel that RUINS OF EARTH have something to offer anyone who likes punk / metal / rock in general.
(Self-released and available as a free download for a limited period from 8th August 2011 – presumably via the band’s Facebook page.)