I have been waiting patiently for the first full-length from these sickos from Chicago patiently since their 2019 Light Eater EP debut. So, here we are, nine-track debut album. The opening track “Of Ruin” sets the tempo for the whole album. Kicking things off with a two-minute instrumental is a bold choice but it works well as a segue into the first full track.

“The Archfiend’s Apothecary” is the first full track on the album. The Deeds of Flesh influence is noticeable right off the bat with precise picking of Rick Mora grinding out minor sixth chords like a unique leader. The break section towards the middle of the track has a bit of a Decapitated Nihility feel. I am beyond impressed at how tight Wounds sound with just one guitarist. Drummer Nate Burgard’s is top notch. Fantastic double kick and blast work throughout. Having been around since 2006 clearly these tunes took some time to exquisitely craft.

“Doom Incarnate” reminds me a bit of Symbols of Failure era Psycroptic with the fretboard climbs. Vocalist Norman Hale does an excellent job mixing up vocal range throughout the album. “In the Maw of The Beast” is one of my favorites on Ruin. I can hear some Necrophagist influence in the opening riff. “Dismember and Devour” opens with a sick drum fill and is the longest track on Ruin. This one also has one of the best groove breakdowns mixing chugs with dissonance. I recommend checking out the video for “Zoophagist.”  This one has an impressive augmented groove section that sounds like a mash-up of influences mentioned earlier in this review.

One thing I noticed is that there are not any solos. I think with as varied as the material is through Ruin, they do not feel needed. “Ready Your Mind” is another banger that reminds me of Onset to Putrefaction. This one also has the sickest vibrato groove that would make Joe Haley proud. This track also has one of the nastiest breakdowns. “Bent On Disaster” finishes Ruin and sticks to most of the song formulas used throughout.

This is a fantastic first full length and I think this release will do very well for not only the band but the Everlasting Spew Label. If you are looking for catchy technical death metal in the vein of Psycroptic, Necrophagist, and Decapitated then this will be one for you. Comes out soon. Get on it.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
March 21st, 2024

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