Front the Final Foes

And so Australia’s assault on excellent extremity continues with the third album from Tasmania’s black metal horde Ruins.

My last contact with this act was the 2004 EP, Atom & Time, which to my recollection, was a traditional, frosty, clinical style of blistering black metal. I missed 2008’s Cauldron (even with its belated US release earlier this year), so when I pressed play and was greeted with a gnarly, down-tuned heavily Celtic Frost inspired form of generally mid paced, blackened death metal I was slightly taken aback, but mightily impressed.

Arbitrary comparisons could be made to Goatwhore, especially with the band’s buzzing guitar tone and sick mid paced grooves, but Celtic Frost is where it’s mostly at, especially Alex Pope’s gruff vocals complete with Tom G styled “oooo’s”. I also hear some Satyricon in here due to the many slow, deliberate marches and grooves that permeate the material. Psycroptic/The Amenta drummer Dave Haley adds his skills to the record, and is possibly responsible for the more sturdy death metal hues that provide a hefty back bone throughout the albums engaging 44 minutes.

From opener “Breath of Void” to nearly eight minute closer “With These Winged Words”, the album lurches, grooves and slithers with a controlled purpose and menace. A few traditional tremolo picked blasts arise here and there (“Sum of Your Loss”, “Hallways of the Always”, second half of “Keep This Crown”) to remind you that Ruins are a black metal band at heart, but the band is at there best when rumbling and marching with a grimy, ominous sense of menace such as “Cult Rapture”, “Annihilate”, very Satyricon-ish first half of “Keeping This Crown” and the aforementioned epic closer adding a rousing militaristic climax and wind down to a downright solid album.

I could go on and on about what Australia has done in metal in 2009, but I think most regular readers of this site are aware of the development. I’ll only end by asking this- “How about another album, Astriaal?”

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 29th, 2009


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    “How about another album, Astriaal?”


  2. Commented by: Staylow

    I checked this album out a couple weeks ago – solid stuff for sure.

  3. Commented by: vugelnox

    this band is alright, but I prefer the German band Ruins. Not as polished but more my speed.

  4. Commented by: Brian

    Astriaal is coming out with a new album in 2010. I’m not sure exactly when, however making a short story shorter, I’m in contact with the band.

    You will be hearing from them soon!

  5. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    LOVE this album. The Goatwhore comparison is right on.

  6. Commented by: meathammer

    Fuck Goatwhore, they’re one of the most boring bands out there. Ruins is actually good. Love it.

  7. Commented by: Tom

    Goatwhore could never come close to sounding as good as Ruins. The new tracks are awesome.

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