|Review: Ruins - Front the Final Foes|
|Front the Final Foes|
Label: Debemur Morti Productions
Year released: 2009
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: January 14, 2010
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Front the Final Foes
Third full-length album from this Australian horde, but it's the first time I've heard of them. Ruins mix a little bit of Carpathian Forest-style Black 'n' Roll with a more modern, crunchy and galloping style. The opener "Breath of Void" kicks quite a bit of ass with lots of speed and heaviness and unfortunately sets the expectations for the rest of the album a little high, and the other songs are not quite up to par – though there's nothing here that's actually bad; it's just that they're not quite as good (though "Keeping this Crown" has been growing on me lately.) What keeps me coming back to Front the Final Foes is how seamlessly the band blends both fast and mid-paced Black Metal – within a same song it's like you're in a roller coaster, but without the upset stomach (or whatever ill thing happens to you on a roller coaster – you get the idea.) You're aware of the change in pace, but you don't really take notice – it just sounds and feels right.
The vocals are harsh rasps that are somewhat decipherable and that do tend to take the centre stage at times, but without getting in the way of the music. Ruins don't really bank on atmosphere on this release – it's kind of there, but the focus is really on the riffage and the drumming – speaking of which, the drumming can get a little annoying and repetitive at times. Some of the blast beats sound out of place, and every time it's that "what the fuck is going on here?" moment. That really hurts some songs here. Nothing bad enough to hit the stop or skip button, but enough to wince a little bit.
Not perfect, but still quite a dark and aggressive, sometimes mysterious slab of Black Metal with enough riffage to make one happy. Despite the minor annoyances, I've been playing this fucker quite a bit lately, and yes, it's good enough to make me want to take a look at that back catalogue of theirs.
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