Icon of Ruin

Chalk up 2023 to Frank reviewing many long albums and with Ohio’s Blackened Tech Death/Thrash metal band Terranoct we get their self-released debut album Icon of Ruin clocking in at over an hour’s length, intertwined into 11 songs.  What drew me to this band was the eye-catching album cover and pretty cool logo.  Remember bands, just like your home where curb appeal matters, the presentation of your product can go a long way.

Opening with the instrumental “Meridian”, well that’s not the way to get into my good graces as I am not a fan of instrumentals on albums, and to open an album with one, whelp…not the biggest fan.  It’s an atmospheric number and some cool melodic soloing going on. “Omnipotence” is the next track and the drum solo going on is really cool, before the blast and black metal-ish scream lets loose.  The vocals are raspy and the song gets into a slower speed with the dual vocals of the lows and highs before the blasting gets back into business.  The sound of this band sounds a bit similar to Vektor.  So there are alternating moments of death/thrash/black metal all combined with a technical element.  There are some complex arrangements and the song, with the guitar harmonies and solos, transports us all into outer space, that is the feel I am getting with this song/album.  The album cover, therefore, goes perfectly with the plethora of sounds.

“Cast in Stone” is up next and has a very progressive opening moment, sounding a bit like the early tech of Pestilence, the guitar solo erupts over the blast beat and the instrumentation is pretty damn impressive.  The song slows down then gets into a nice double-pounding blast beats with growls galore.  For some reason, the snare drum tone is bothering me.  It’s a bit loud, maybe that is it.  At the 2.05 section, the guitar solo is melodic and serene before the mid-paced moment returns as well as the double-pounding blast.  I really enjoy this section then the song goes right for the jugular with a full-on blast beat and the riffing is very good, the guitars needed to be a bit higher in the mix and the snare drum sound scaled back a bit.  This is a great and fun song and the various vocal tones help make this song shine.

“Call of the Void” is smack dab in the middle and the longest song edging close to the eight-minute mark.  Smart decision by the band to put their longest song in the middle of the album.  There is a lot going on with this song.  Guitar solos, blasts, killer guitar harmonies, and some pretty damn fast drum rolls and blasts.  I really enjoy some of the quick drum rolls, while the blast is going on.  If the drummer can pull this shit off live, then that is even more impressive.  Around the 2.40 section, we are treated to some cool guitar playing and ferocious tech death metal blasting.  The mid-paced atmospheric moment around 4.30 I must point out because the singer lets out a pretty cool, growl, to signal the blast beat that erupts right afterward.  My favorite moment on this album.

The rest of Icon of Ruin plays similarly with some jazzy progressive moments on “Leviathan’s Will”, which are fun, and this is also a pretty strong song.  For production purposes, I would say maybe the guitar sound should have been mixed a bit higher and the snare sound a little less high.  Terranoct took me by surprise and I would categorize them as a tech-blackened death metal band.  Some of the moments will have thrash metal influences with how some of the speeds are with the classic guitar soloing and whammy bar action.  At over one hour, there is a lot to absorb, so stick with it.  This is a self-released album, but hopefully, if they want a label, Terranoct can get a deal, because this is an impressive debut album and better than a variety of signed acts, playing a similar style of metal.  Damn good debut album!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
June 21st, 2023


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