Arise and Ruin
Night Storms Hailfire

On 2007’s The Final Dawn, Ontario’s Arise and Ruin delivered a solid if forgetful slab of thrash based metalcore and now with the follow up, even though the thrash element has been upped and the metalcore sound is virtually gone, Arise and Ruin prove a cool cover and album title does not a great metal album make. Soild? yes. Great, no.

Granted, Night Storms Hailfire is an improvement from the debut album as the band have made a Years of Desolation like shift into almost pure thrash core realms with a dirtier, grittier sound and even injected some sickly slower material, but even with those changes, the album just seems a raucous exercise in over done thrash dynamics and a forced attempt to distance themselves from the metal core scene and sound.

That all being said, I do appreciate the bands attempt to be much less of typical Victory band and the more hurly burly structures and earthier production do make for an energetic, frenetic listen but it lacks the pure feral intensity of say, the recent Hellmouth. Still, tracks like rollicking opener “Forever Damned”, “Bring the Rain”, “Doom Sentence”, the appropriately titled “Thrashburn”, “Brothers in Arms” and “This is War” do have a primal, furious energy and presence, especially barking vocalist Ryan Bauchman, that goes against everything metalcore or Victory based.

However, with a few of the tracks, “A Heavy Dose”, the title track , as well as somber instrumental “The Aftermath”, the band take a longer more sludgy approach and it works much better and has much more identity than the energetic but forgetful thrashing. I could have done without the few minutes of silence that appears in closer “The Long Haul” before the grindcore hidden track.

Still, along with the releases by Within the Ruins and Wretched, Night Storms Hailfire shows Victory Records hasn’t completely forgotten about metal yet.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
March 25th, 2009

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