Ominous Ruin
Amid Voices That Echo in Stone

Jeeeezus!  San Francisco California’s Ominous Ruin debut album is here and it’s a hell of a first effort. If it is conceivable to think of a heavier Spawn of Possession or Archspire these guys might very well be in that mix.

“Ritual” kicks off this forty-six-minute clinic in riff fury and intensity. Guitarist Alex Bacey and Joel Guernsey do an awesome job of playing around with tempo and mixing really interest clean arpeggio breaks into this opener. Drummer Andrew Baird is an absolute beast on this and his double kicks are on fire.  I can hear a bit of Necrophagist with those harmonics.

“Attuned to The Chasm” continues to demonstrate just how all over these guys can be all of the fretboard and then build into an incredible heavy section and then layer it.   I think I hear a bit of Deeds of Flesh in here as well. Vocalist Adam Rosado is brutal as F.  Singing over these riff patterns cannot be easy.

“Deception” opens with an off kilter clean riff that transitions into some cool, jittery harmonies before the chug, chug slam verse comes in for a sec and then changes tempo.   Between all of these crazy flurries Ominous Ruin are able to bring things back to interesting hooks in every song on the album.  There is a synth break on this one that reminds me a bit of Gorgasm’s Stabwound Intercourse. “Chrysalis of Flesh” has a cool intro that builds into more insane string skipping riffs before going into a pulverizing stomp part.  The song lengths are anywhere from around four up to seven minutes.  These be some massive technical death songs.  For being an eight-string guitar band, they don’t really sound like one.  The song arrangements are so well done that when the lower end parts come through, they are well thought out and don’t feel like they are just trying to use the lowest strings.

“Labyrinthine Torment’ has a gorgeous acoustic intro that is really unlike anything on the album up into this point and builds into a cool jam part with drums and guitar.  The bass lines are gorgeous here.   This is definitely the longest track on the album and it has its own vibe going into the main meat of the song. Maybe a tinge of Ulcerate in there. There is definitely an ode to Erik Lindmark riff towards middle half of this one that’s very on point.  

The album ends with the title track “Amid Voices That Echo in Stone”.  Much like “Labyrinthine Torment”, this one opens with a real cool clean intro that does an excellent job building tension before the distortion kicks in and these glorious riffs are blasted over. The track continues in its attack and then ends in a way I was not expecting. It is early in 2021 and Ominous Ruin have one of the best technical death albums coming out this year.  Definitely one to pick up.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
February 4th, 2021

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